Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Health » More Questions for the M.O.H. Experts
Mar 24, 2020

More Questions for the M.O.H. Experts

Marvin Manzanero

Viewers of the live webcast also wanted to know about the possibility of a lockdown; as well as the use of certain drugs to treat the COVID-19. Here’s the Director of Health Services’ expert advice if you want some information on these questions and others related to the novel coronavirus.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“How long do you anticipate a shutdown? That is a tricky question and I think in one of the next sessions we are going to have during the week we will come out and do the little mapping exercise of what it is that guides the response in that regards because I know people are saying ideally you don’t want the virus to come to Belize, but we don’t live in a bubble. It is going to eventually go everywhere in the world. You can’t isolate yourself – that is not going to happen. I think we have to be very clear in that regard. The science is going to tell you that what you intend to do is to avoid the duplication of crisis happening so quickly that it overwhelms your health system. SO, you will see some of the data and newspaper talking about flattening the curve and that is what every country aims to do throughout the remainder of the year. So, it is very difficult to say for how long we anticipate a shutdown because it is usually going to be when we start having a doubling of cases in every seventy-two hours. Once you have that and for how long it depends on how much you are able to contain it. Containment is not just a health system situation; it is going to be a community approach.  When will a decision be made in regards of public officers who are still required to be at work every day but are not essential services? I think the bus situation is already making a decision in that regard. I already spoke with AO before I came here because what we are going to do, at least as ministry headquarters, non-essential staff we will ask to be reporting to the nearest health facility and see if they can help out in the emergency operation center; helping the administrative work of the different hospitals. These have started to scale down the health services that can be re-programmed and that note has gone out to all facilities. For the technical people who need to come to Belmopan, we are going to have to make provisions to bring them in government vehicle or we will make that provision separately. I can’t speak on the wider public sector, as that is way above my pay scale for sure. So, I can’t say how and when that will happen. We can make recommendations but again if no buses are coming to Belmopan, then I think the answers are practically there. But again, for how long the buses out? Two or three months? I don’t know. We need to make a decision.  People are rushing to buy hydroxychloroquine, please educate the public on that drug. Two things with hydroxychloroquine, it can kill you. We have had one case reported in Arizona where one person was using it and died. If it is not prescribed by a clinician, if you have an underlying heart condition it can cause arrhythmia and people can die. We have seen cases of poisoning because of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in Nigeria, as well. A similar situation but different medication in Iran. I am not sure how many people died in Nigeria but I know that people died as result of trying to take it to prevent COVID-19. You cannot access or should not be accessing hydroxychloroquine if it wasn’t prescribed by a clinician. So, whoever is selling it to you is also breaking the law because that can only be gotten if you have prescription for buying it. It’s the same thing with azithromycin; you should not be going to buy it and the pharmacists should not be selling it to you. So, I am going to ask the pharmacists, who are health care workers, to ensure that they are not selling this as a business entity.”

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed