Starting at 8 o’clock tonight, the entire district of Cayo will be under a 2-week lockdown. This announcement was made yesterday by the Prime Minister and comes as a result of three COVID-19 patients who reside in San Ignacio Town. The town, which is usually bustling with residents and tourists, has come to standstill since the State of Emergency was enacted. Today, we spoke with the Mayor, Earl Trapp, on how this has been impacting them.
Earl Trapp, Mayor of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena: It has put a serious dent on our economy and I don’t see it recovering any time soon. This morning I was discussing with some of my heads of department and definitely it will be a new beginning for us, it will be a new challenge for us so we would have to find new ways on how to basically attract revenues for the council and we have to do things more in a conservative manner if we are supposed to remain self sustainable. So definitely it’s a new challenge we’d have to come up with innovative ideas and the entire San Ignacio, the entire country of Belize will have to, in my humble opinion, go back to the grassroots days to deal with farming. So we have to go back to farming and when the opportunity presents itself for tourism then we can take advantage of that but we should not let go of the farming which provides the people the food that we eat on a daily basis but definitely it will be something completely different and something new for San Ignacio and Santa Elena. There are different things we will have to implement at the council if we are supposed to be sustainable because at the moment I can tell you that we are very much overstaffed so we will have to be looking at that angle as well. I was just saying that what I noticed today this morning was something different, something new. I’ve noticed that the streets were very, I mean we had no one on the streets. People on the streets were very minimal you could count one or two people but definitely this morning it was different as compared to yesterday and the day before so people are heeding the call, people are heeding the advisories and now I believe we can continue, we can proceed in continuing to mitigate the spread of this virus by staying at home.”
Mayor Trapp went on to say that he is confident the people of the Cayo district will adhere to the lockdown and stay home. He noted that the Town Council will also be delivering packages to residents to assist them during the two weeks of lockdown.
Earl Trapp, Mayor of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena: “I had a conversation with the OC here in San Ignacio and he mentioned to me that last night there were only two arrests as opposed to nine and ten the night before. So people are adhering to the advisories, people are understanding the severity of staying at home and they understand that this virus is indeed deadly. After seeing what transpired with the late Mr.Hubert believe me that has changed the minds of many people, the thoughts of many people within San Ignacio and Santa Elena and that is the problem with the culture of Belize. Some people need to see ,it’s like the disciple Thomas he needed to see for them to believe. People sometimes have to feel for them to understand but now in this case they have seen and hopefully they learn from other’s experiences and hopeful from now on people will continue to adhere to the advisories, stay at home until after the weather has passed. People are heeding the call, people are being more cautious and people are aware that if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do then we’re putting our lives at risk. People have been coming to me, I can tell you I was at the council this morning assisting people like I said we have been working with the Chinese community on trying to get a food drive. We have Vega’s Imports that has been assisting us, we have RD Motors that has been assisting us so people have been coming to the council and we have been assisting them with a bag of groceries but on Thursday we will go out in full force with the Chinese community and other vehicles and we will be going throughout the streets and we’ll be delivering groceries more to the needy people. How we will determine that well I don’t know but it’s basically the more needy people that we want to basically target and the other plan is for Friday morning we want to disinfect the entirety of San Ignacio and Santa Elena the streets and the supermarkets, the entrances, the market areas we will disinfect those areas with the Clorox and water.”
Mayor Earl Trapp ended his statement by saying that the community must work together and listen to the advisories from the Government in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.