While the Government has that legal challenge ahead of them, the United Democratic Party today heaped criticism on how the administration has handled the pandemic altogether. On Tuesday, the UDP Party Leader Patrick Faber, flanked by four other colleagues, lamented on what they say is the Briceno government’s going it alone and refusing to accept help.
Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader: “These numbers are very serious. We have a total of 718 active cases of COVID in this country and for other countries that might not seem like a big number but for our little Belize that’s a huge number. And we make the plea to the government again and you’ve heard us go on the record repeatedly doing this, to engage the stakeholders in this fight against COVID. You know I remember when – what was it that they called you Uncle P and Pakeman used to be on the radio for ask the experts it was not only Mike as the Attorney General in fact we had experts in education, we had experts from the health system, we had experts from tourism, everybody who was concerned were invited to that program to inform Belizeans and in fact there was a task force set up of the stakeholders who would advise on the decisions that the government would be making. When the PUP came into office they did away with all of that. You remember there was even a bipartisan committee, the National Oversight Committee all of that was done away with and we have great reasons to be concerned about this COVID situation and I signal again that it is not only the government’s responsibility it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that we fight this deadly COVID disease.”
On the issue of vaccinations, the UDP outlined its position, that while it supports individual freedom to choose, they wholeheartedly support the vaccination program.
Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader: “There is a great deal to be said about the anti vaxxing campaign and the information that is shared. Whether it is reliable or not but there is one thing that we place on record here from the United Democratic Party despite all the goings on with the anti vaxxers and those who support vaccination. The truth of the matter is we support that people should have a right to decide whether or not they want to be vaccinated. We for the avoidance of doubt support the vaccination effort and we urge all to get vaccinated but if for some reason an individual or a group of people say ‘We don’t want to be vaccinated.’ then it is an obligation of the government to ensure that there are options for these people. That is the position of the United Democratic Party.”
Meanwhile, the nation recorded three deaths within the last day. That includes BTL employee Angel Alpuche who died on Monday afternoon. Alpuche worked with the company for ten years and his death came as a shock to his many friends and colleagues. The Belize Communication Workers’ Union said today quote “He will be missed for his witty, outspoken, and loving behaviour, all who have come in contact with him can vouch for this” (Unquote). The death toll is at three hundred forty-seven. As for the rest of the national picture, the Ministry of Health and Wellness tallied ninety-eight new cases and forty-one recoveries, bringing active cases to seven hundred seventy-one. Eleven people are hospitalized and four remain in intensive care. Another two hundred eight-seven samples are under investigation at this time. Of the new cases reported today, fifty-two of them are in Belize District, which includes twenty-five here in Belize City, seven in Ladyville and five each on Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Orange Walk District recorded fifteen, Cayo was at eleven, eight in Stann Creek and six each in Corozal and Toledo Districts. In terms of vaccinations, sixty-one thousand five hundred sixty-seven are fully vaccinated while one hundred forty-nine thousand four hundred twenty-eight are vaccinated.