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Jan 14, 2021

Belize Testing Samples to Identify Stains of COVID-19

Melissa Diaz

From concerns about new travel regulations to the growing concerns about the highly infectious new strain of the novel coronavirus, first detected in the UK last September.  Experts say the new strain can become more common simply by being in the right place at the right time.  The new strain has been recorded in fifty countries, including Jamaica and most recently in Mexico this week. In Belize, we cannot test the specific strains of the virus in the country, so the Ministry of Health relies on its partners to help with our surveillance.


Dr. Melissa Diaz, Acting Director of Health Services

“We have been able to, the Central Medical Lab along with Baylor College we have been able to ask their assistance to do this specific test which is called genotyping to look for the strain or just to look at what are the strains that are affecting our people over the last few months. Immediately once the question was asked to the Baylor College group they immediately responded that they are more than willing to help. So this has started already. The time frame as to when we will get results, I am not too certain about because it is quite a lot of swabs they will be looking at. Because we had signed on to his AFI, acute febrile illness study they had already had some swabs there already. So they have started that process. So hopefully we will hear soon with regards what strains we have and if we have the new strain in country.”

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