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Aug 5, 2020

No Community Spread, But Clusters and Sporadic Cases

Marvin Manzanero

There is no community spread as yet, but Ambergris Caye, Orange Walk and, to a lesser extent, Corozal remain areas of great concern given the contact tracing and testing taking place of persons that may be exposed.  Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that the tracing and mapping exercise has so far indicated that several of the cases in Corozal and Orange Walk are linked to the movement of contraband goods. The case of Santa Martha where a farmer carries the virus is also worrisome and contact tracing is complex.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We are now starting to do the contact tracing. In terms of the person from Corozal, there seems to be a linkage again with contraband goods from across the border; similar to the four cases we are following in Orange Walk. The preliminary investigation seems to suggest that all of those have some level of contraband goods from across the country. What we are trying to establish and we worked last night is if there is any link between Orange Walk and the cases in San Pedro, but that is yet to be established. As you go along with the contact tracing, you realise that there are extensive networks out there. There’s been family reunions of people close to when they could have been in the incubation period. We are noticing a family party of at least twelve families that would have had members from Belize City and Belmopan. In Santa Martha Village—this is data that is just coming because on the way up here this is information that is coming out—links to a village. Contacts are on the Orange Walk market area and then the person in Guinea Grass that needs to be followed. And when you start looking at contacts even from San Pedro, we note possible linkages to Orange Walk, persons being in contact out in Placencia so the numbers continue to be rather extensive as we move along. We are anticipating at least around eighty-one contacts for the case in San Pedro. Of course those samples are being processed right now. The preliminary data that we have—and I guess we can go ahead and say that now—pending confirmation, we have potential fourteen new cases out of the San Pedro situation today.”


So while community spread is not confirmed, at this time, there are clusters and sporadic cases popping up everywhere. Doctor Manzanero also said that extensive networks of family reunions, weddings and other social events have been organized and may be linked to persons in Belize City and Belmopan.

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