Sunday, June 16, 2024

Less testing for COVID-19 being done on the island

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A total of 215 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in San Pedro Town, of which only one has officially been reported as ‘recovered’. The latest updates on the island are showing a significant decline in positive cases compared to weeks ago. This raises the question of whether the Ministry of Health is testing island residents. The MOH clarified that concern, stating that swabbing for samples continues to take place, but not as many as before.

The Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero said that cases on the island are expected to start decreasing as it has been almost a month since cases spiked. He attributed the recent decline in positive cases to the flattening of the curve as the alleged peak of the disease is beginning to drop.  He reminded asymptomatic patients to voluntarily quarantine and to stay away from other persons to mitigate any potential transmission. On the island, people have been complaining that when visiting the Mar de Tumbo flu clinic for testing, they are turned back. Manzanero said that they cannot test every single person and that at the moment only symptomatic, pregnant women and high-risk patients are being prioritized.

The most recent update shows a further 181 samples processed, yielding 27 new cases. The breakdown of these new cases is as follows:

– Corozal District – 2 (Altamira & Paraiso)

– Belize District – 4 (3 in Belize City & 1 in San Pedro)

– Cayo District – 5 (Belmopan City 3 & Armenia Village 2)

– Orange Walk District – 16 (Orange Walk Town, August Pine Ridge, San Felipe, Yo Creek, San Lazaro, San Jose Palmar, San Estevan).

Orange Walk is the second area in the country with the highest cases of the disease. MOH personnel did field work on that district in order to find out if cases are due to community transmission as in San Pedro. This information will be presented at the government’s next Cabinet meeting where further regulations could be discussed to contain the spike of cases in this part of Belize.

Belizeans across the country are asked to continue practicing safety and health measures and to try to stay at home as much as they can. When persons are out of their homes, either for work or doing essential errands, they are asked to wear their masks, social distance, and to be properly sanitized.

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