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Feb 13, 2020

Ministry of Health Prepares for COVID 19

This morning, the Ministry of Health held its first press conference to discuss COVID 19, formerly known as the corona virus.  Health officials in Belize have been working diligently to come up with a comprehensive strategy should there be an outbreak of the novel virus locally.  Epidemiologist, Doctor Russell Manzanero gave a brief history of the COVID Nineteen and when it was first detected in China.  He also says that the World Health Organization has declared it a public health emergency.


Russell Manzanero

Dr. Russell Manzanero, Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health

“On January 7th, 2020, Chinese authorities identified a new type of Corona Virus which is now termed COVID 19 from a cluster of pneumonia cases from Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China.  It is a new strain of Corona Virus and had not been previously identified in humans.  There was an initial case that was thought to have been linked to a human sea market in that city.  However, there is still, as we had mentioned ongoing studies and investigations that are probably alluding to something else.  There is now evidence though that there is human to human transmission.  Globally, all cases have had a history to Wuhan and China or have had a close contact with a confirmed case.  On January thirtieth, WHO Director General declared the outbreak of COVID 19 a public health emergency of international concern and to date we have twenty-four countries that have now had ongoing transmission.  What is likely is that exported cases of COVID 19 are expected to occur, particularly with the degree of mobilization and travel.”

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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