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Sep 18, 2020

Two More Suspected COVID-related Deaths to Report On

Carla Bennett

There is a pair of unrelated cases being investigated as possible COVID-19 deaths in Belize City and Orange Walk where two women have succumbed to respiratory complications.  On Thursday, an employee of the Elections and Boundaries Department was found dead inside her home in the Belama area and today health officials are conducting a Gene Expert test to determine whether the cause of death may have been the result of the new coronavirus.  Fifty-nine-year-old Carla Bennett retired several years ago from the public service, but returned to work on an interim basis at the Elections and Boundaries Department as Temporary Assistant Registration Officer.  While her death is being investigated as a suspected case of SARS-COVID Two, three Belize City offices of the Elections and Boundaries Department, including the headquarters at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building have been closed until further notice.  This evening, Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero provided a few details.

 

Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We got the note from whoever had been taking care of that particular situation, the patient had died yesterday actually, I believe that’s when she had died and the notes now that we received, of course after that fact, is that she had apparently been symptomatic from the earlier part of the week.  She had been considering herself an asthmatic case and that she had had some respiratory problems.  Over the last couple of days before she died, even though she had been encouraged to wear a mask they were told that she felt that the mask was not helping and it was only complicating her situation more and then she was, as we understand it, the note I got was that she had been found dead at home.  And so, because of the preliminary suggestion that she may have been having respiratory symptoms, sudden death which is a pattern that we are on the lookout for, she would have been classified as a potential suspect case and so when we have a suspect case like that, we routinely put them through what’s called a Gene Expert platform because that gives you a quicker turnaround time and that’s the platform we use for critically ill patients.  So we are waiting for that result.”

 

As a result of the high possibility of staff having contact with a COVID-19 patient, the decision was taken to close the Lumber Yard Registration Office and the Belize City Central Office today for proper sanitization. Throughout the weekend, the Elections and Boundaries Department will continue working with the public health authorities to ensure that the offices are safe for reopening as early as Tuesday, September twenty-second, 2020. 


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