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May 8, 2020

No Daily Testing; Random Testing Outlined

Marvin Manzanero

And when it comes to testing, Doctor Marvin Manzanero notes that daily testing is not taking place. He outlines some of the industries and frontline workers who will be captured in random testing to be undertaken.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“As we move along, we should also specify that we are not doing testing everyday now. This week we ran tests Tuesday and Thursday and we are going to run another batch tomorrow. We will be publishing a calendar of when we are doing testing. We are only going to be doing testing on a specific day if we have any potential cluster or any patient that we have a suspicion of being potentially positive then we are going to run at test on a specific day. Persons under investigation from the infographics yesterday you had a total of thirty three persons and the number today is more than likely going to be bigger and so from the infographics today will likely only show that change. Persons under investigation don’t mean they are necessarily symptomatic or linked to previously documented cases, the reason we are saying persons under investigation is because the lab only lumps all the persons who sample arrives for testing at the central medical lab. The persons under investigation right now are some diabetics; some HIV patients with flu like symptoms; hypertensive patients; persons crossing the border illegally.  In terms of Central Health Region, which is Belize City primarily, we have tested sixteen people random from B.D.F., Police, Immigration; nineteen persons who work at banks – these are frontline people who you routinely expect to be more exposed because of the amount of people they are seeing routinely. In our list for random testing, we have people from elderly homes – not just people who are housed there but also the staff that works there. It doesn’t mean that the entire staff is going to be swabbed. We are looking t the possibility of testing randomly people such as pregnant women; call center workers; people from utility companies and water taxi and other transportation workers such as pilot and bus drivers. As we move along with testing we are also looking at the possibility of antibody testing to determine whether they have developed immunity and we would be doing random antibody testing once the test had been approved as well in people, in general, to determine if there are cases that never showed any signs and symptoms but who were exposed and developed immunity which can happen.”

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