A woman employed at the Scenes of Crime Unit of the Belize Police Department is outraged after her request to be tested for Covid-19 was denied. According to Angela Wiltshire, she had come in contact with a man who tested positive for Covid-19, and because of her diabetes, she has grown very concerned over her exposure.
Angella Wiltshire, Scenes of Crime Technician: “My concerns presently is that- I have an underlying condition which is diabetic and I’m in fear for my coworkers, my family and other people I came in contact with on a daily basis and since this COVID came in style I should say I’ve learned that a lot of people were a part of the mapping system and they refused to give them a test, refused and I think that that is causing the increase of so many COVID cases today because when COVID first came to Belize you didn’t hear all of those things there. It was not spiking up like now because I don’t know what they’re doing with the test, I don’t know if they’re holding the test for souvenir or whatever but I think they’re playing politics with the test, they’re giving the test to who they want and this test is not about red or blue it’s about the concern and the health of our Belizean people and I’m very much concerned about that.”
Reporter: Where do you think you might have gotten it ?
Angella Wiltshire, Scenes of Crime Technician: “I know where – I don’t say I have it but I came in contact with a coworker that was positive.”
Reporter: So your attempts to try and get tested what was that like ?
Angella Wiltshire, Scenes of Crime Technician: “Horrible. Horrible. Sickening. Frustrating. I got the first of all I got my assistant director I was following her instructions and I respect her to the fullest so I followed her instructions on what to do and I carried out her instructions on what to do and I carried out exactly what she told me to do to call these numbers. I’ve been calling the numbers for quite a while, futile in my attempts. Saturday morning my director called me and gave me two emergency numbers, 613-0787 and a 0800MOHCARE that’s the number. I called that number fifteen times to be exact no answer I got voicemail message and in a situation like this probably you don’t know how it feels, nobody knows how I eel but it’s playing tricks on your mind. You’re thinking about all those people that have already died, you’re thinking about all those people that have already suffered through this sickness I don’t want to have to go through that and I will not tell a lie to take a test because as I said I have an underlying condition but I’m not going to call any sickness on myself either. If I don’t have any symptoms I don’t have it and I’m not going to tell a lie to get a test when that’s my fundamental right to get my test.”
Based on her experience, Wiltshire has some recommendations for the Ministry of Health.
Angella Wiltshire, Scenes of Crime Technician: “I would want to recommend first of all they need to have somebody to man those phones twenty four hours. Twenty four hours a day and if they cannot answer the phone, if they cannot answer the phone when people call they don’t need to give out those numbers because those things you don’t know that you have it, you haven’t taken the test but at the same time you’re thinking all kinds of things and if they just answer the phone that will give you a bit of comfort and relief to what you are feeling what you are going through. As I said I have no symptoms absolutely none but they need to do better than this because I am not the first and I will not be the last to be turned away from taking a test and they have other people I have spoke to since all of this that told me they had to tell a lie to take the test and I will not lie because I’m not calling any sickness on myself. When I was at the Cleopatra Health Center they told me my name has to be on a list from Ministry of Health so if your name is not on a list you can’t take the test so what about that person if that person is already positive and you get in contact with that person? How many people have you already contacted from that person and you are not allowed to take the test ? Come on they have to do better than that.”
Wiltshire has still not been contacted to be tested and stated that the mental effect this journey has had is not an easy one. It was announced earlier today that testing will only be done for patients who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.