Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Featured, Health, Miscellaneous, People & Places » Challenging Times Ahead for Belize
Mar 27, 2020

Challenging Times Ahead for Belize

There are two cases of COVID-19 in Belize, but the deadly virus is already having a toll on the way of life.  It is an enemy that attacks everyone from rich to poor from reds to blues; across the landscape, the people are all vulnerable to the contagious virus for which there is no cure.  On Thursday evening, the Prime Minister gave a sober message to the nation, calling for calm, giving assurances that there is food security and that Belize is positioning itself to face the uncertainties of the months ahead. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Before the COVID-19 pandemic downtown Belize City would be bustling. Cars would be bumper to bumper on Albert Street and shoppers would be in and out of stores. But this was the scene this morning. The streets were less congested and only a handful of people were out.

What’s happening in downtown in Belize City is what’s happening to the country on a much larger scale. Huge chunks of the economy are shut down to slow the spread of the virus. Thousands have become jobless and small and medium businesses face permanent closure. But the leader of the nation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says stay calm, don’t panic.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

 “In the end, though, as Prime Minister I am the one who has to accept the ultimate responsibility for custody of the nation’s wellbeing. Especially in this time of an existential crisis of seemingly Old Testament proportions, I must personally come before you. Hence, the reason for today’s address. My primary message is to assure that you are not alone, neither in your anxiety about the present challenges nor your preoccupation about the future. I thus reiterate to every Belizean that my Administration, together with the National Committees, will spare no effort, will action every partnership, will lose no opportunity to cushion the economic impacts and minimize the medical repercussions of this pandemic.”


There are over half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world with the USA now having the highest number of coronavirus cases. Belize has two confirmed cases but if trading partners do not get a handle on this virus, Belize’s economy will suffer for many months.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“You know that neither the depth nor the duration of this battle is yet clear. In this connection Belize and all countries-from the richest to the poorest-are in the same boat. We face a lethal, deadly enemy that refuses to stay still long enough for us to get a bead on it.”


But Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that Belize is properly positioning itself for this battle.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We do so both on the economic and the medical fronts. First and most important, we can feed ourselves. And there are two things that are important in this connection. The global supply chain that facilitates imports of essential inputs for our country is not being broken. Even more important, though, is the fact of Belize’s self-sufficiency in all basic commodities. With our local production of grains, meats, vegetables and poultry products we are able to dig in for the long haul. That is what sets us apart.”


PM Barrow says that government is prepared to fortify the economy through a wide range of fiscal measures. The country’s health care professionals are being supported by a Cuban medical brigade. But to contain the spread, the public plays a crucial role.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“As hard as the circumstances are, there is no need to panic. And even if we have to take the ultimate step of a national shutdown, there will be no interruption of essential services. Access to food, pharmaceutical and other necessary supplies will be guaranteed. In short, Government and its partners will move heaven and earth to protect our people. Of course, we need your help, we need the cooperation and understanding of each and every Belizean. This crisis, like no other, demands a unity of effort, a spirit of collaboration, an overflow of fellow feeling and a pouring forth of all the reserves of national humanitarianism and patriotic solidarity.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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