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Apr 21, 2020

Director of Health Services Gives an Update on Testing Capabilities!

There are now two persons who have recovered from the corona virus. Eighteen persons contracted the virus, two died and now to have recovered.   The Ministry says one hundred and seventy COVID-19 tests were done over the last six days. According to Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero, more testing components are expected in the days ahead. Now on the matter of the topic of the testing kits from the Cayman Islands, Doctor Manzanero shared during today’s ‘Ask the Experts’ webcast that that country has a back log for some components for the tests and that back log will affect Belize’s timeline to obtain those items.


Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We have done close to a hundred and seventy tests over the last six days. Some days you have a bigger batch going in. I do have to stress that we are anticipating that the swabs we use for testing and the enzymes that are needed for the testing, because it is not just the tests you need but you need extraction enzymes, purification enzymes and those should be arriving tomorrow. We did follow up on the Cayman Island offer and we spoke with people directly linked with the Cayman Island lab and they indicated that they are on a back log order that will last six to eight weeks so even if we are to procure those kits, our back log will perhaps be longer than six to eight weeks and so for now to keep on with the actually PCR platform testing kits and hoping that we get all those PCR enzymes tomorrow. We are anticipating that some of the equipment we had paid for PPEs, ventilators should be arriving tomorrow. Even the supplies from PAHO that were supposed to arrive, the reactions are here we have two thousand five hundred reactions for doing testing but the other elements have not arrived.   Is it true that Belize will be purchasing kits from Cayman Islands – why buy them now when they were initially being given for free? Two things there – they were not the same kits. I think we have clarified that and this is the third time we are saying that. They are not the same kits and even if we decide to buy the Cayman Islands ones we have to understand that we will have to buy the separate reagents which the Cayman Islands doesn’t have.”

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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