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Jun 23, 2020

Quarantining Positive Cases in Belize City

Melinda Guerra

The Central Health Region is the unit of the Ministry of Health responsible for the on the ground logistics for those repatriated persons who are swabbed when they arrive at the Philip Goldson International Airport and then placed in mandatory quarantine. As you know, Belize recorded a twenty-third case of COVID-19; it is a woman in her early twenties that returned on a repatriation flight on June nineteenth. She’s asymptomatic and remains in quarantine. While contact tracing is taking place, Regional Health Manager Melinda Guerra says that there was little to no exposure.


Melinda Guerra, Regional Health Manager, Central Health Region

“We have a process that we are following; it’s from the time the persons are actually registering for them to come into Belize, they have a repatriation form that they have to fill. We screen that form when the person comes to the P.G.I.A., which is the point of entry right now. We are now swabbing them right at the airport as soon as they arrive and these results, we get it very quick, within one day we receive the results. They are fully quarantined at the hotel and we do the contact tracing. Of course in this case we have minimal contact tracing to do because they are in one room so that is what is in place right now. We are aware that once we get persons coming from high risk countries, the risk is there that we are going to get some positive case. And so that’s why we have to take the necessary measures, especially the social distancing that we have to have, the wearing of masks that we have to have, making sure that people don’t spend much time engaging in conversation because the greater in length of time that you are exposed to a person coming in, the greater the risk because we don’t know who is positive. So we have to treat everybody as if they are positive.”

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