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Apr 21, 2020

How Soon Can Belize Reopens Its Borders? Not So Fast – Says DHS!

As we reported at top of the newscast, it’s been nine days since the last person tested positive for COVID-19 in Belize. And while Belize has only a handful of cases at the moment – and can only declare COVID-19 outbreak free after twenty-eight days of no confirmed positive case – we may not be able to go back to a state of normalcy immediately if that happens. Today, during the Ask the Experts online session, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero noted that the situation is different in Mexico.  While so far Belize has only reached a phase one, Mexico is now at a phase three and expects a peak in COVID-19 until a month’s time. So, as Doctor Manzanero explains, there is a not a clear cut answer as to when the borders will be reopened when we consider the regional COVID-19 picture.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Understand that we never transitioned to stage two of our response. We basically remained at stage one, even though we took stage three measures and we did that progressively. Can’t shy away from the fact that just this morning, I am saying it because our neighbor up north – so that you can get an idea of how long this can be and we have to be careful about the advice we give as we move along. The government of Mexico this morning declared that they are now in a stage three situation and they are not expected to peak at the current curve they are having until May twenty-third. That is more than a month from today, so that will give you an idea where they are going with their cases, in case people are asking when that border will open, so we get an idea of how difficult it is do predictions in that regard. If after twenty-eight days has passed without a new case, will you advise the borders to open? That is a tricky situation because I just explained what’s happening in Mexico. So we might not have a case, but if they are just going at a very rapid pace, escalating in their curve, it is not going to be sensible for us making that recommendation. If the U.S. is just going through their curve and they might not be peaking until July, then you will understand it will not make much sense even if you have an open airport or open border because you are going to have to be selective with who will be allowed to come in. You will recall going back to January; first people coming from China couldn’t come and then you added countries like South Korea and Taiwan.  That might be the way we open up. You say people can X country can come in and you opening it up gradually, the same way we kinda locked down. I think that’s the same process we are going to follow.”

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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