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Dec 14, 2020

A Motorcade in Honor of the Fallen Guerra Brothers

A motorcade was held last evening in remembrance of brothers Kevin and Kenneth Guerra.  In the wake of their passing, their colleagues in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Belize Medical and Dental Association, quickly put together a tribute to the doctors with a convoy of ambulances leading the way.  In Belize City, as well as other parts of the country, the parade of vehicles and lights was well received as many lined the streets to pay homage to the frontline health workers.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has that story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A procession of ambulances made its way through Belize City on Sunday evening, as bystanders lined both sides the streets.  The motorcade, organized by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Belize Medical and Dental Association, was held in honor of a pair of fallen siblings.  It was also a show of solidarity within the medical profession that those on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 are not alone.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Acting Director of Health Services, M.O.H.W.

“We are here together as a wider community to mourn the passing of two of our fallen frontline heroes, doctors Kevin and Kenneth Guerra.  We, the Ministry of Health, along with the B.M.D.A., the wider private and public health community wanted to do something to symbolize our support for our doctors who have passed away and for their family, their immediate family, as well as their health family at Independence Polyclinic and San Ignacio Community Hospital.”


That outpouring of support within the medical fraternity continues this evening.  Outside of the K.H.M.H., doctors and nurses have come together to memorialize the siblings.  It’s a massive loss and a brutal reminder of just how deadly this virulent illness is.


Shanna Pott

Dr. Shanna Pott, Organizer

“I started to think of this memorial because, you know, while we knew that they were ventilated and everything, their death was still so sudden and it was a huge loss for us in the medical community and those who were close to them.  Of course they had the motorcade yesterday and who could have come out to light their candles came out, however, it just felt rushed to me and I wanted a place where all of our colleagues can come and pay tribute to them and honor to them.  You know, they are heroes and they died in the line of duty, in the line of service to their communities.  They have touched so many lives, it’s amazing the support that has come from all this because so many people knew them and everybody has good stories to tell about them.”


The Guerra twins are the first to fall to COVID-19 on the healthcare front.  The tragic loss comes amid a ballooning of cases across the country and a mounting mortality rate to boot.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“To date in Belize, we have lost over a hundred and ninety persons to the dreaded COVID and this only highlights to us even more so that the response that we need has to be a multi-sectoral response.  It has to come from the community on a whole and we are asking you all, all over the country to join together to fight against COVID-19.  Practice your public health measures as best as possible and let us join together in force against COVID-19.”


Dr. Shanna Pott, an organizer of the memorial outside of the K.H.M.H., is herself a doctor on the frontlines.  Despite an abundance of caution, she too is exposed to COVID-19 by way of her profession.


Dr. Shanna Pott

“I work directly with COVID patients, so I take every precaution that I can take.  I work along with them along with Dr. Tanya Marijon and we are very careful in everything that we do.  But still, you know, there is always room for something to go wrong and it’s very scary to se, you know, they are the first doctors.  We have doctors who have become infected already but they are the first ones who have died due to COVID-19 and so of course it’s a very scary situation.  As the number rises each day we just have to keep fighting, we have to do it, we are out there, this is the job that we chose and we can only do our best, but of course, of course, it is a scary situation and so we just have to be more cautious and be more mindful of everything that we are doing and we can’t afford to slip up.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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