The Ministry of Health has identified the eighth case of COVID-19 in Belize. Patient Number Eight is a 50-year-old Belizean man of Corozal Town. The patient’s family has decided collectively to go public with Patient Eight’s identity and his situation. In a statement posted on social media, the patient’s sister wrote, quote, “It has now been confirmed that my brother, Ramsley Gillett, is COVID-19 Patient 8 in our beloved country of Belize.” End of quote. The sister, Krishna Gillett went on to deliver a message from Patient Eight that states, quote, “As the latest person to contract the COVID-19 virus in Belize, I want to share my situation with the nation. I am Ramsley Gillett, a 50-year-old Belizean working as a Land Inspector with the Ministry of Natural Resources. I am a resident of Corozal, where my wife, two children and I reside. It is my belief that I contracted the coronavirus while regularly engaged in my duties as a public servant. I have decided to make this public declaration with the hope of ending the stigma and discrimination that I’ve seen displayed against other COVID-19 patients and their families. My request to all my fellow citizens is for you to give my family and I your support during this very difficult time. We are a God-fearing family and we ask you to join your prayers with ours at this time. Please pray especially for my beautiful wife and two children. I am currently in the care of the Healthcare system of Belize and my plea is that the government does all that is in its power to care for and provide the best medical services to those like myself who are affected by this deadly virus. Please ensure that there is wider-spread testing and that the parameters for determining when somebody will be tested are now widened to include those who may not have travel history outside Belize.” End of quote. Gillett’s confirmation for COVID-19 came yesterday and was among the thirty-one tests conducted, including contacts of Patients Six and Seven. Dr. Marvin Manzanero spoke of Gillett’s current condition and the preliminary mapping of Patient Eight.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Yesterday I did say at one point in time that we could be naive to the fact that we were and we are going to certainly see more COVID-19 cases. In terms of the patient we detected yesterday, it’s a 50 year old male he has one precondition he is a diabetic. He was swabbed, he doesn’t really have respiratory symptoms now but he did refer having had respiratory symptoms, being seen at a private facility, being treated with antibiotics at a private facility so when he came into the health system is because he was having minor respiratory symptoms but primarily abdominal pain and diarrhea so that was what was documented. The patient is stable. I checked just before I came on, he is with no respiratory symptoms, he is without any oxygen and he is saturating at 96% without any supplementary oxygen with no respiratory condition at this point in time. So that patient is being managed at the Corozal Community Hospital in the isolation area away from the routine Corozal Community Hospital patient set. I haven’t gotten the mapping exercise completed as yet I am not able to tell you or tell the audience how that happened but the preliminary report that one family member did say that he had not been going to his routine works station in the last two or three weeks after there had been a cut down of the public transportation but that’s going to come out in the exercise.”
With one confirmed case turned fatal, Dr. Manzanero gave an update on the status of the other patients currently in the districts of Belize and Cayo, including Ambergris Caye.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Yesterday when I was here we had documented seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that we were going to be doing tests of the immediate contacts and family members of patients six and seven after we had done the mapping exercise. Understanding that we did not have an immediate possible contact for patient number seven, knowing that patient number six and patient number four did have an established link we in the test that we did yesterday we also as you know as part of the screening criteria that we have opened up we were testing people that were showing up at testing facilities with some respiratory condition or who may have had one in the previous days before they showed up at a health facility. None of the immediate family members or primary contacts as you would call them or close contacts of patients six and seven turned out to be positive for SARS-CoV 2, the disease we now know as COVID-19. Nonetheless these family members will have to wait out the quarantine period at wherever they are because none of them tested positive. The patients one and two were swabbed yesterday those samples will go in today for testing so we should have results throughout the course of the night or into the early hours of the morning.”
Interestingly, health officials are still unable to identify the source of infection for Patient Four who passed away.