Elected representatives met today inside the National Assembly building debating several Bills and Motions brought to the House Meeting by the Briceno Administration. Today’s meeting saw the debates surround the health sector, the supplementary budget, education and land compensation. As it relates to the health sector, the opposition questioned the minister of the need for the continued curfew hours.
Moses Shyne Barrow, Area Representative, Mesopotamia Division: “Will the Minister of Health and Wellness please tell this honorable house why a nationwide curfew is still being enforced despite the almost 50% of the population being vaccinated, despite vaccination cards and negative rapid tests being required for public officers to work and for private citizens to enter public buildings ? Despite the damaging impact to our economy, our financial and mental health.”
Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “As of Today Mr.Speaker we have 578 reasons why we still have this very mild curfew in place. Mr.Speaker we cannot continue saying our fatality rate is too high yet we want to do away with safety measures. When we took office Mr.Speaker we were dealing with the Alpha Variant at that time the targeted population to be vaccinated to be vaccinated was 70%. When the Delta Variant came along herd immunity and that 70% went through the door. Let me remind the member for Mesopotamia that we are now faced with Omicron, a new variant and we are taking the steps to protect the Belizean people Mr.Speaker. We now have vaccinations visiting homes house to house offering the vaccine to everybody who is willing to take the vaccine. So yes Mr.Speaker 50% is a good number but it is not good enough to protect our people. Mr.Speaker I have invited all the members of the opposition to join us in our vaccination campaigns and up to today only two of them have accepted.”
Moses Shyne Barrow, Area Representative, Mesopotamia Division: “Mr.Speaker I’m asking about the curfew not an economic report. My question was not to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. I’m asking about the science that has guided his decision to keep a curfew I’m not asking for economic report.”
Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “Mr.Speaker does he also want to tell me how to answer the question ? He has asked a question and it is in my discretion how I will respond. He must now sit and listen to my response.”