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The US Confirms its First Case of the Omicron Variant

Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control confirmed the USA’s first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The recently discovered and heavily mutated strain was detected in a fully vaccinated person in the state of California. And, the news has since sent fear through the country’s health system due to the lack of data on its effects. Here in Belize, however, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has been rather silent and is yet to release an official statement on the strain. The reason being, according to the Deputy Director of Health Services Dr. Francis Morey, is due to a lack of information on the strain.

Dr.Francis  Murray, Deputy Director of Health Services: “I believe what we are doing is we’re looking at it carefully internally. The amount of information that is out there in regards to the Omicron variant is not significant but I believe what you know and what we know at the ministry is what’s known globally. In regards to the Omicron variant we are still looking at the possibility of continuing the gene sequencing in country so as to see when that variant comes into the country we are able to detect it. We have partnered with Baylor College of Medicine and the support from them and CDC is what we are trying to gather and get as yet. I mean the conversation is there. I’ve seen an exchange of emails for us to build that capacity in country. I mean the response from various other countries have been alarming and I must say that at this point in time the concern is out there, the genuine concern. What most countries have also been fronting is that we really need to get our numbers up. The vaccination process, the vaccination campaign is going out at full force, going into the communities the numbers have to increase. That’s the biggest defence you have against this disease. Secondly the enhancement, the implementation and the enforcement of the public health measures that’s what is the key goal that we want to achieve. I mean the Ministry of Health is tasked with implementing, designing, doing strategies and activities to have the public health measures set in place but if the country by itself, the single person, the family don’t continue to exercise duly these exercises then we will be running the risk of continuing this pandemic in the country.”