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Mar 23, 2020

More Questions for the Experts!

Marvin Manzanero

One more issue coming out of from Ask the Expert session. The public posed a number of COVID-19 questions to the panel, including the case of Michigan, U.S.A. tourist, as well as what it will take for a complete lockdown. Here’s how Doctor Marvin Manzanero responded to the public’s queries.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“The case of Donn Hinds, the US tourist who left Belize in February – we couldn’t actually identify the person being ill when he was here so he left more than a month ago. So, that would be beyond the fourteen days quarantine area and I mean we haven’t been able to link any particular thing as a result of that case.  When that person recovers will she be in quarantine for another two weeks? Right. It depends what we do is after your symptoms have subsides, we would do another swab and determine if you have in fact turned out negative and you would still be under quarantine after your swab turns out negative and that can fluctuate. Some people would have signs and symptoms for on average six days or fourteen days. So, yes it could be anything from fourteen to thirty days or even more. If somebody dies of COVID-19, how will their body be disposed of in Belize? We have checked and there are no specific other than necessary precautions for wake and to take the body. We can say that there is not going to be provision for people to be kept in morgue though because once somebody dies we anticipate we are not going to be conducting autopsies and allowing a body to remain in a morgue for an extended period of time. At what point do we decide if the country goes on lockdown and criteria would determine this? That would be phase three of our plan which means when you have transmission happening in two or more communities, sustained transmission. For right now we have what we call an imported case. We have not documented any other cases. We have not documented that transmission is ongoing in San Pedro.  If there are contacts of hers that are positive, then you call that a cluster; which means one person and a cluster around them. Once you start having those persons infect others in a given community then you are considered to have ongoing transmission in a specific community. For now, we have recommended that the island of San Pedro scale up in terms of the early closure of bars, restaurants and so on. Once it escapes to one community outside of San Pedro, then you would consider a lock down for other services across the country, but that wouldn’t necessarily be recommended right now.”


We note that Manzanero shared that a total of fifty nine tests were completed up to this morning. Of those fifty-nine, only one was positive.

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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