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Feb 26, 2020

Surveillance System Remains Fully Activated

Russell Manzanero

The Ministry of Health is recommending against non-essential travel to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan, where the virus has been spreading.  In the meantime, Doctor Russell Manzanero says that the ministry’s surveillance system at all entry points remains fully activated. 


Dr. Russell Manzanero, Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health

“The ministry continues to heighten surveillance at especially points of entry. Screening is ongoing for all travellers coming in; that is, both local residents who are returning back from areas in China or any other areas in Asia. It’s both tourists and local residents who are returning, we are screening them. So there is a timeframe that we are looking at. If they have left China in fourteen days then those kind of screening is ongoing. Anybody who is returning, any Belizean who is returning, we actually will screen them and ensure that they have no kind of symptoms. Those individuals are being asked to be in isolation, self-isolation, and those are just precautionary measures that are in place. Everybody that does come in, we keep a track of where they are staying, who they are with so that we can have constant communication with them. At border management as well—at the northern and western border—that is something that is being looked at. We do know that the international [airport] is one of the official ports of entry, but we also have some crossings that are happening by road as well. So individuals are coming into the country by road, but we are also look at that end. So we have the support and the collaboration with Immigration and Customs that individuals who are coming in, they do look at their travel, they do seek where they are coming from and then they alert us. We do go and do a screening with those individuals and we follow up with where they will be.”

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