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Jul 3, 2020

How Many Positive COVID-19 Cases Would it Take for Belize to Close Back Up?

Marvin Manzanero

And as the six weeks countdown continues to the reopening of the P.G.I.A., a number of countries are struggling to contain the virus and their health systems are on the brink of collapse. Neighbouring countries such as Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica are seeing a spike in cases and other countries have had to backtrack on their reopening. So what is Belize going to do if there is a spike in cases when the P.G.I.A. reopens in August? What would it take for Belize to close its doors to visitors – that’s what one viewer asked Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“What will the threshold for a month of positive cases be before we close the P.G.I.A.? That is a very interesting question. I love the science behind that and I assume you are using that based on the Jamaican experience because Jamaica did say our threshold is two point five percent of new cases that is when we will have to go back and reclose. The Ministry of Health doesn’t make the decision as to when the airport closes again; we will make a recommendation. We are not that clear how Jamaica came to that two point five threshold. We assume that has to do with your bed, hospital, health capacity. So, we are doing that exercise internal to the Ministry of Health based on our capacity. So, that once you hit August fifth and how many cases you detect and how many cases you have by then and how many your threshold will be, then that is where we take that from there. But more important than having a threshold – because you could have a hundred cases and if they are all isolated they are not really posing a risk for community spread. Remember at the end of the day what you want is to avoid your health system from being overwhelmed. And so that is a more sensitive marker than just saying a total number out there.”

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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