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Will the Easter Holiday Lead to a Spike in COVID-19 Cases ?

A small number of new COVID-19 infections were reported across the country today. The Ministry of Health and Wellness reports nine new cases today from a batch of three hundred and four tests. Most of the new cases were recorded in Belize City. Four people remain hospitalised including one in the Intensive Care Unit. Additionally, there were four recoveries reported today while eighteen people are under investigation. The positivity rate stands at three percent while active cases stand at one hundred and fifteen. But will that number increase, especially after the very active Easter weekend? That’s what we asked Health and Wellness

Minister Kevin Bernard.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness: “We’ll start at the Ruta Maya, that was the first major event that took place when we opened up Belize in terms of having more activities, more gatherings. We had the Spanish Lookout Expo. There was no major issue there either and we have been open for almost a month in terms of people not wearing masks, not having to wear the masks and we have been seeing that the daily numbers continue to be very limited. We are still, as per the last report, Hipolito, we are at about 122 cases, active cases and everyday we are getting clearance from persons who have been released in terms of meeting their ten day or their seven day requirements. So I think that we are seeing a trend where the numbers, daily numbers, are steadily in that same region and I think it’s manageable for us.”

Reporter: Comparing the Easter Break to La Ruta Maya, the Easter Break, the long Easter Weekend was a much larger event because it had thousands of Belizeans from across the country and tourists coming in, especially tourists from the U.S. So is it that the ministry is expecting a sort of spike in the numbers in the next two weeks when we see that, especially given the sub variant? 

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness: Definitely, in fact, when we initially opened up, we said we would, we need to look out for some spikes in cases, now that Easter has come and gone, we are going to be monitoring the numbers coming in. So far, knock on wood, we haven’t heard any major issues but, like I said, when the Epi. unit put together the numbers that they’ve gathered from all the facilities, we would then be able to then see if there is a trend of a spread or anything. Now Easter is just out so we will have to wait at that five day incubation period to see if there will be any effect within the next two weeks.”

Since the pandemic started, six hundred and seventy-six Belizeans lost their lives due to the coronavirus.