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Oct 17, 2014

Carnival Magic Passenger is Quarantined Onboard Cruise Ship

Prime Minister Dean Barrow was also at this morning’s press conference to quell fears. He reiterated that if there had been any way at all that he could have assisted the U.S. without risk, he would have. And there were discussions entertained at first on getting these quarantined persons on a plane which would fly into the Philip Goldson International Airport on Thursday. But then, the U.S. notified Belize that the plane would not be able to arrive until Friday. That notification included a request that the persons be held in Belize City overnight. PM Barrow states that at that point, the discussions were for all intents and purposes ended.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“The logistics of such an operation in my view would have exposed Belizean health workers, Belizean security agents, Belizean frontline officials. I accepted the absolute good faith of the US in saying to us that the risk was almost nonexistent. But there had to be some risk was in fact confirmed by their anxiety to get the person in whom they were interested quickly out of Belize and into the US. Because I had been alerted to the situation sometime after 10; after I concluded some meeting, I tuned in for a while to some hearings that they were taking place in the US and what emerged from those hearing served to confirm my own reservations, my own doubts. It is clear that even in the US with all their capacity, with all their expertise, there is still a lot of unanswered questions with how this thing gets transmitted and with respect to the last two nurses that become ill. There doesn’t seem to have any kind of certainty as to what protocols were breached. And clearly in terms of the Centre for Disease Control, their response, their approach, their treatment of the issue seems to be a work in progress. Very unfortunate I repeat we have utter and complete sympathy for the United States and the problematic nature of what unfolded in there. But I have to be first and foremost concerned about Belize, my country, out country and our people. In that kind of a context as I said; once the ground had shifted to the extent were they were no talking about a next day operation and keeping the people on Belizean soil it seemed to me that my answer had to be no.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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