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Apr 28, 2020

Senators Spar over Testing Kits

The number of active coronavirus infections has been reduced tonight to seven and the latest figures from the Ministry of health show that twenty-six are under investigation. It means that at least for now, there is improvement but still Belizeans are not expected to put their guard down. . But earlier this week, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero confirmed to News Five that the Ministry has experienced delays in obtaining swabs and reagents for continued testing for the deadly novel coronavirus. Almost one thousand tests have been carried out so far and according to Doctor Manzanero, there are enough testing materials for the next two weeks. During today’s Sitting of the Senate, the P.U.P.’s Michel Chebat pointed out, however, that Belize has been waiting for equipment and materials for weeks and they have yet to arrive.


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Lead P.U.P. Senator

“We have been lucky so far but thinking about I wonder if it is luck or is it just that we have not been testing enough. What are the facts as we know them? One, we don’t have enough PPEs for our medical frontline workers.  That is a fact. We still do not have established treatment protocols. Mr. President we don’t have enough swabs and reagents to conduct the necessary testing. Thirty days later. We don’t have enough testing kits and yet we refused a gift of twenty five thousand kits and not even with the money that we have can we now buy them.  For the past week few if any testing has been done because we have been guarding the little we have. It seems Mr. President and from hearing the DHS yesterday we have not been able to acquire sufficient swabs and reagents. And if you recall Mr. President from WHO to all of these international health organization the international standard for dealing with COVID19 is test, test, test. When I hear our Prime Minister Speaks it reminds me of that televisions, a series call Fantasy Island. I am sure the AG will recall in which the character as the start says the plane, the plane. We have been hearing about the plane coming with more test and supplies but the plane can’t land yet Mr. President but we are asking for sixty more days.”


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, U.D.P. Senator

“When you listen to the Opposition and when you listen to Senator Chebat, and we are not testing enough, and the statistic is not this- don’t you get the feeling that the P.U.P. almost wish that the COVID-19 situation was so much worse than it is. It is like they are almost upset that we have it under control. They have been dying to have it go so bad so that the government and Dean Barrow can be blame. Lo and behold we have proven once again that we can tackle anything that faces this government. You have to display the symptoms before we even test you. So stop sending this foolishness to the public that you must just go out there and test everybody. That is not how the process works for COVID 19.”

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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