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Feb 4, 2020

M.O.H. Hosts Meeting with Local Partners to Talk Coronavirus Plans

The Ministry of Health continues to prepare and put in prevention or containment plans in the event that the corona virus reaches Belize. The number of deaths has increased and detections are being made around the world, so the Ministry of Health met with local and regional partners to review their plans and plan the way forward. Russell Manzanero, the Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health, tells us more about the meeting.

 

Dr. Russell Manzanero, Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health

“At our end here, locally, we have been inviting members from the different regions, the districts and entities that we work with; K.H.M.H.; PAHO; B.T.B. and NEMO, to get the discussions of where we are at as the Ministry at this point, to revise those plans and contingency plans that are in place in the different districts. So, that is what we are doing today.”

 

Russell Manzanero

Andrea Polanco

“In terms of what you are talking about, what are some of the concerns coming up?”

 

Dr. Russell Manzanero

“Everybody is wondering what the plans are that the Ministry has; what the procedures are; if we should have someone coming in, what do we make aware; how do we keep the public engaged, so that is what we are doing. We are revising the influenza plans, so even though we already know what to do, we are trying to enhance surveillance and with that we are trying to get more screenings done. So, we are trying to increase screening at the P.G.I.A., so we are working with hose officials to see the travelers that are coming in and this goes for all travelers. All travelers that are coming in, Chinese nationals, travelers on a whole, Belizeans coming back, so we just need to see where they are coming from to get their travel history and know that these are the individuals we can follow up and have a contact tracing on them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are the next steps that they are going to be taking?”

 

Dr. Russell Manzanero

“Here at this level we are basically securing what needs to get done at the different regions; health facilities should be aware of what they need to do; how to act and respond timely to any kind of investigation that needs to get done. So, it is basically about timely and efficient response that they are going to carry out at the community level; how do we contact and get that kind of information back from all those who they come in contact with. But, beside that, I think there is a need to do a larger meeting to meet with other stakeholders. As we have been mentioning, it is not only a health situation. This involves and goes beyond that; other ministries like education, finance, NEMO, foreign affairs and so those kinds of individuals need to be at the table as well. So, there is a need to do that.”


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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