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Jan 27, 2020

Belize Health Official Monitoring Coronavirus Outbreak

Marvin Manzanero

Health officials in Mexico and Colombia are investigating their first cases of the deadly coronavirus spreading from China. Here in Belize, authorities are closely monitoring and the Ministry of Health has activated the National Surveillance Team to keep an eye on the new strain of coronavirus.  Last week, the team, headed by the Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero, participated in a virtual meeting hosted by the Caribbean Public Health Authority to discuss the novel Coronavirus outbreak. According to Doctor Manzanero, no confirmed case of the virus has been reported in the Caribbean or Central America; however, the outbreak is new and situations can change drastically on a day-by-day basis.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“The initial date we reviewed as a part of an online meeting with other Caribbean countries it seems to have a mortally rate that is similar to the common flu viruses that we have circulated. So I know there is perhaps a panic mode in that regard we associate it everywhere where we watch the news. If it has the same mortality rate then I guess the concern really has to be the flu virus is in general. What do we do to prevent it? How do you do measures to contain it? And ensuring that prevention becomes the key message that we are going to earmarked.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Is the ministry working with other ministries for example Transport, National Security or tourism in terms of border points?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“We would only be looking from our own vantage points Ministry of Health at the airport. So in discussion with public health earlier today what we want to do is be able to go to the list of any flight passengers coming in through the airport whoever may have been originating from an airport in China, be able to follow and give them any information in case they have any symptoms developing.”


The illness resembles pneumonia with most patients having a fever and severe non-productive cough. Some have expressed difficulty breathing. Persons should continue practicing proper hand washing techniques; wash hands with soap and clean running water before and after eating, when using the bathroom and before preparing food.

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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