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Mar 3, 2020

Screening Travelers at Points of Entry is a Waste of Resources – DHS Manzanero

Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, also outlined collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Health and other government agencies, including the Belize Airports Authority and the Ministry of Tourism.  According to the D.H.S., screening travelers at the various points of entry has proven to be an ineffective use of human and financial resources, based on the recent experience of the government of the Dominican Republic.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Other than the entities that the minister has highlighted, the Airport Authority, BTIA/BTB, NEMO, the Ministry of Education is now, we are in full communication and there will be a meeting on Friday with general managers from across the country to lay out the potential scenarios that can happen depending on how COVID-19 affects and the levels of affection it will have.  The Ministry of Tourism has been invited and we have already highlighted the fact that we are having a major activity with UB on Wednesday, with PAHO on Thursday and today there is a major tabletop exercise.  What is done is basically all regions come to the table and different case scenarios are tabled and you go through an exercise process to identify that you are not going to miss anything.  And I take that because one of the things that I think was very clear from the Dominican Republic’s experience that was shared with us earlier today is that very few cases, and I think even the WHO Director General has been saying this, are detected actually at an entry point.  So that in point of fact, I know people are concerned about what is happening at the airport, what is happening at the borders.  But when you look at the scientific evidence and we are saying it as well, screening at ports of entry, a lot of resources are wasted, human resources and financial, with very few epidemiological substance to back it up.”

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