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Apr 8, 2020

COVID-19 Patient 8 is Lands Inspector Ramsley Gillett from Corozal

Ramsley Gillett

There is a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Corozal District.  The patient is Ramsey Gillett, a brave public officer who works at the Lands Department in Corozal Town and resides there with his wife and two children. Gillett’s sister, during the course of this afternoon, provided details on Gillett’s identity as a means of ending the stigma on the victims of the virus.  So has patient number six, a businessman from San Ignacio, who has also spoken publicly about the illness, calling for an end to the discrimination. Gillett, a fifty-year-old diabetic, first sought treatment at a private facility and was referred to the Corozal Community Hospital, given the turn around and it was not until Tuesday that he was finally tested. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Patient eight is fifty-year-old land inspector of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ramsley Gillett, who is attached to the Corozal branch of the Lands Department.  Gillett lives in Paraiso with his wife and two children. He is the second person to test positive in that district in four days; on Saturday, a student was the fifth confirmed case overall for the country and that patient remains in quarantine.


On the Phone: Rigoberto Vellos, Mayor, Corozal Town

“A well known gentleman within the town and I believe within the whole country, as we all know he is a very respectable guy and a very friendly guy. It is an unfortunate situation for him, his family and Corozal Town. But it just shows that this virus has no respect for anyone.”


In a social media post by his sister on his behalf, Gillett proffered his personal advice in respect of the healthy system and called for understanding to wipe away the stigma associated with COVID-19 patients. It says, “Please afford prompt and courteous service to all who make an outreach and attempt to engage the public health services…my experience could have been different.” He accessed a private medical facility in that northern municipality on Saturday, complaining of fever and headaches. He was checked and referred to the Corozal Community Hospital, but, we are told, he was denied testing because he did not qualify. His condition did not improve and he returned to the private facility. He was again provided with antibiotics and referred to the community hospital and after some calls were made by relatives, Gillett was finally swabbed and admitted at the public hospital on Tuesday. By seven o’clock this morning, it was confirmed that he had contracted COVID-19.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“In terms of the patient we detected yesterday, he is a fifty-year-old male. He has one precondition; he is a diabetic. He was swabbed; he doesn’t really have respiratory symptoms now, but he did refer having had respiratory symptoms. Being seen at a private facility, being treated with antibiotics at a private facility so when he came into the health system it is because he was having minor respiratory symptoms, but primarily abdominal pain and diarrhoea.”


But is patient eight an imported case? Gillett says that he had not travelled recently, but believes that his line of work may have made him exposed. So if it is that he didn’t travel recently or come in close contact with another confirmed case, is it then a community spread? Did he pick up COVID-19 from someone within the community, who does not know that he or she is infected?


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“He doesn’t have a travel history; that much we know other than being across the border, but no travel history to the U.S. So we have to determine in the mapping exercise where he could have potentially become infected and that exercise started very early today.”


On the Phone: Rigoberto Vellos

“I would have to allow the Ministry of Health to do its mapping and so that we all know and are very aware of where he got infected from. I don’t believe it is from Corozal Town, but it is all up to the mapping that the Ministry of Health will do.”


At this time, the prognosis is good for Gillett, who remains hospitalized in a stable condition.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“The patient is stable. I just checked before I came on. He is with no respiratory symptoms, he is without any oxygen and he is saturating at ninety-six percent without any supplementary oxygen, with no respiratory condition at this point in time. So this patient is being managed at the Corozal Community Hospital in the isolation area away from the routine Corozal Community Hospital patient set.”


Corozal Mayor, Rigoberto Vellos says that going forward; the contingency plan remains intact with further enforcement.


On the Phone: Rigoberto Vellos

“It is up to us now to defend our brothers and sisters out there. This is the time when we need to respect the curfew more than ever and we need to work together with the police department and the leaders and officials who are working to make sure that this country stays free from this virus.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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