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The importance of knowing your COVID-19 status

Aside from the plans for a public education campaign Prime Minister Briceno indicated that while an increase in testing may be revealing a stark increase in positive cases, it is important to know the Covid-19 status especially for those showing symptoms.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: Now as for the PCR test what we’re doing right now is we have doubled the amount of machines to be doing these PCR tests and secondly now one of the machines itself can go to 390. But then more importantly what one of the doctors- a doctor that I have great respect for – he’s saying that once you found you have COVID-19 the protocol is now as they learn more and more as this virus operates is that once you are clinically recovered there’s no need to do any test. In the United States and in Europe and so forth they don’t waste time in doing that test because you may get that test and there chances with the PCR the chances are quite high that you are going to be positive but you can’t infect anybody, you’re not sick anymore it’s just in your system. So we’re saying you’re just wasting time and money and resources so it’s best to be able to find you when you are infected and then you do your quarantine and get the necessary attention that you need until you get better. So there are a number of things that are changing. We have to be working on the contact tracing and the minister is going to give some recommendations whereby we can probably start to use some of the government workers from the other departments to help with the tracing by calling people. So it has to be an all out effort. Again we have agreed that we are going to include all the private doctors, all the clinics, all the private labs that want to be a part of this because we’re in this all together. The more people, the more resources we have getting involved then in the longer run it lessens the cost to Belizeans because it doesn’t come only to the public hospitals but also to the private hospitals. We’re talking on trying to work out some kind of arrangement with these private hospitals where they could probably start to help Karl Heusner with providing some of the other services that they can’t provide right now because we have to address, this crisis that’s in front of us.”