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Mar 19, 2020

Ministry of Health to Increase Testing for COVID-19

At the top of the newscast, we told you about the measures that the Department of Immigration is taking to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus via the Ministry of Health’s live webcast called ‘Ask the Experts.’  And while surveillance is being beefed up at our border points, the Ministry of Health is ramping up testing.  The Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that lab technicians have tested thirty-one persons so far.  He explains how the scaling up of testing works.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Given what has transpired in the last thirty six hours, we have scaled up our testing procedures. Over the last twenty-four hours, we tested thirteen people, including highly suspect cases; which means anybody who has any contact with anybody who has a travel history and is coming down with symptoms, we are testing you. This morning, hospitals across the country who have severe acute respiratory illnesses will be asked to swab their patients and send in the samples because we are still looking for any potential cases that we may not have been able to detect.   How many tests of COVID 19 have been done? It’s a total now of thirty-one and three re-tests. From where – all across the country. I think we have done from people in Cayo, Belize, Corozal, Placencia, the islands. Are there sufficient testing kits for COVID19 per district? We don’t have it per district. The only testing that is being done is at the Central Medical Lab, so all samples that are swabbed go to Central Medical Lab.”

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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