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Jul 24, 2020

Another COVID-19 Cluster in Orange Walk District

Marvin Manzanero

There is another COVID-19 cluster in the Orange Walk District. Four new cases were reported on Thursday night. A family of four, two adults and two minors tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  They are border jumpers and just before our newscast tonight, another case of COVID-19 was confirmed. The fifth case is another family member of the four cases identified on Thursday.  So this makes the cluster a total of five COVID-19 patients.  Director of Health Services this evening informed that the initial contact tracing for these cases has concluded and while the family acknowledges that they had been across the border in the month of June due to a family emergency, the link that is being followed is a family member that lives in Mexico.  That family member had continuously visited the family over the last few weeks.  According to information, the family has been in virtual isolation since they returned from Mexico and there is no evidence that they left the isolated farm from where they had been picked up.  Orange Walk remains the district with the most active cases of the deadly coronavirus.  Almost all of these cases are tied to illegal border crossings.  This morning, Doctor Manzanero provided preliminary information of the new cases.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Once we finish our investigation, contract tracing by the end of the today maybe we will have more information as to that particular cluster.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Did they enter Belize through that illegal border crossing in Santa Cruz?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“I don’t know which border crossing they came from. Again what we have found is once you go back and start asking, asking you find different answer. So we rather waiter wait until we have completed the interview process today. I can tell you that it is family, two adults and two children from one single community.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Is it that they were arrested or detained in their homes?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“My understanding they were reported as having crossed the border and that is why they went to look for them. Right now and I have to go and check because now it seems that police are rounding up people that are being reported. We have to be careful in terms of that because it is not, I mean you have to have some evidence that people have been point in fact across the border. Again that is a police matter. If they bring them to us we will comply with what is being requested from us. That is an evolving situation right now.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Any indication how long ago they entered Belize illegally and how far in the country they travelled?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“They said in the month of June. So when we went back and review the lab situation it seems that their viral load is towards the minimal stage which means that they could have exposed for a good amount of period and they are towards the end of any infection. That might be good for that clinical case but it becomes a nightmare for contact tracing because you don’t know how long since they were exposed and how many other people they could have exposed. That is the question that is coming up for us today.”

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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