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Mar 23, 2020

M.O.H. on Top of Mapping for First COVID-19 Patient

During today’s “Ask the Expert” live webcast at three this afternoon, the Director of Health Services shared more information about the investigation into the first confirmed case.  As a part of their due diligence, the health teams have been looking at all the places and persons the patient came in contact with.  Doctor Marvin Manzanero noted that they have made significant progress in their mapping.  He noted that the flight was fairly empty on Thursday and that the patient didn’t have close contact with other passengers on the flight, but they have reached out to those passengers. He outlines the mapping they have done.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“The team has, from this morning, been doing what is an initial mapping which is trying to trace what happens from before the patient landed; people who were on the plane – we already got that list. The people she interacted with at the airport; the flight she took out to San Pedro – we already have that list as well. Who took her to her house on the Thursday when she arrived. We already had a lengthy discussion with her – where she was on Friday; where she was on Saturday and where she was on Sunday. So, based on that then, you’ll start doing initial screen test for those who are in immediate and lose contact with her. It also doesn’t mean that every single person in San Pedro who now has the flu will be screened. That is not the way you do your basic research. You have to find out who is most at risk, particularly those with closest contact with her and make a determination. So, that is a part of the work that routinely will take us forty-eight, maximum, seventy-two hours. Accordingly, she was at a party on Saturday night – how true is that? She was – we spoke with her. She did interact with eight other family members, as I understand on that Saturday. Those have all now been placed in isolation – well three of the persons who she was routinely in contact with before she came to the facility were already isolated from Friday. We are going to assess individually all those persons who she interacted with her on Saturday. Those persons who were closely in contact with her on Thursday – Friday, those will be swabbed and brought to Belize City today. The process will start maybe at five p.m. in running the samples. Now because we are scaling up our screening, we are telling people it will take up to twenty-fours because we are going to run it by batch numbers now.”


Doctor Manzanero say that contrary to online rumors that the patient’s mother is now in Benque, they were informed that she is actually in isolation in San Pedro.

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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