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Mar 18, 2020

Tips to Help you Prepare During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Health officials have warned that it is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when the novel coronavirus gets here. The government has introduced some preventative and containment measures for the country.  While Belize remains one of three countries in the region where there are no confirmed cases, some one hundred and sixty-four countries already have COVID-19.  But as the virus continues to spread, countries are stepping out their measures and people are being encouraged to take their own steps to safeguard their health. One of the ways families can prepare is to put together a kit of basic supplies, should it be needed. We note that panic buying and stock piling is not necessary; it is advisable to have things like your medication and other important items for children and the elderly should your family require it. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize and right now Belizeans are able to move around in country. But that may change if we get cases of the novel coronavirus. Persons of interest may have to go into self-isolation or quarantine for fourteen days; and other more serious preventative measures such as a lockdown can be instituted based on the situation on the ground. And so to prepare one’s self and home if you are faced with more stringent measures, persons may want to put a small kit of emergency items, such as prescription medication or a few over-the-counter medications. Families with young babies and elderly persons may also want to prepare for these vulnerable groups just in case: Here are a few recommendations from critical care Doctor Jorge Hidalgo.


Jorge Hidalgo

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Internist

“How we can get prepared to have acetaminophen or Tylenol at home. It is advisable to have enough water and of course, the different type of supplies that you need most of the time, for a period of two to three weeks.  Importantly, if we have patients in the group of vulnerable people, that mean that these patients will likely need their supply of medication for at least two weeks or a little bit longer; patients with hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, you want to make sure they have the different type or insulin that they use to control their sugar. If you have babies, then supplies to take care of the babies for a period of two weeks, if this is the case that we will be faced in situation like that.”


While it may be useful to purchase some non-perishables goods, as well as your favorite food items, it is important not to stockpile. Groceries with longer shelf-life are good to have, you can also keep a small supply of fresh goods which are good for your health. It is also important to have water in your homes.


Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“We don’t need to wait until the information gets here, so at this point, I think we can start to get some of the things that we know we can have for a period of two to three weeks. In that case, some canned foods will be reasonable and we need to make sure the expiration date is good. Also you need to make sure your water supply is good because water is important and we need to make sure you keep your hydration.  Most important than anything is to have a plan at home, a plan of action in case the situation the situation gets bad but all of us are praying this is not the case.”


Cleaning and hygiene supplies for hand washing, bathing, laundry, and  general cleaning, as well as disinfectants to keep surfaces clean are important to have in your homes. But Doctor Hidalgo stresses that in the event someone in isolation gets sick or there is a lockdown, you should call the relevant health authorities first.


Dr. Jorge Hidalgo

“The most important thing if we get sick and especially with respiratory symptoms is to stay at home and call the health provider to just explain the symptoms if we believe it could be related to that, in the event we get in touch or we are coming from a country with exposure. If that is not the case, we are still recommending that you stay at home and contact your health provider to receive instructions.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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