Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Health, People & Places » COVID-19 Cases More than Double in the Belize District
Jul 19, 2021

COVID-19 Cases More than Double in the Belize District

Over the last few weeks, COVID-19 positive cases have been increasing drastically, pushing the country into its third wave of the pandemic. The overall positivity rate is up to eight point four and there are now three hundred and thirty-two deaths associated with COVID-19 in Belize. Going into the weekend, there were eight active hospitalizations, one admitted to the COVID Intensive Care Unit. The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has suspended some of its services to adequately respond to the increasing COVID-19 numbers. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Going into the weekend, there were two hundred and ninety-eight active COVID-19 cases and that number is expected to increase as at least one variant of the virus has been detected in the country. With an increase in transmissibility, in Belize District alone the numbers have almost tripled.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Deputy Regional Health Manager, Central Health Region

“In Central Region over the last week and a half, we have been seeing an increase in cases compared to over the last few months. In fact, I think that in the last two to three weeks, we’ve gone from fifty-two active case and to date we have a hundred and thirty-five active cases in the Belize District.  So the number has definitely increased significantly and of course that’s a concern for us here at the Ministry of Health.  A lot of the cases, definitely, there are close contacts that have come back positive. We do know and we’ve noticed a trend for a few weeks, ever since the minister had announced that we do have variants of concern. And we do believe that definitely with the variants we will see an increase in cases because with the variants they are more transmissible by over sixty percent of the normal COVID-19 strain.”


Deputy Regional Health Manager, Doctor Melissa Diaz-Musa explains the reality on the ground as public health officers conduct contact tracing.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“Over the recent weeks, we’ve noticed that entire households or even at workplaces, sometimes you would have one or two staff members who come back positive. Now we are seeing that if you have fifteen staff members, ten may be positive so definitely one of the variants of concern is probably attributing to the increase of cases we are seeing in the Belize District.”


Starting today, the K.H.M.H. will be in “Emergency Mode” as they ramp up their response to the rise in COVID-19 cases. During this time, elective surgeries will be on hold until further notice; there will be no outpatient clinics and visitor’s policy has been readjusted to restrict the number of persons in the facility. The national referral hospital has once again been transformed to guarantee the best patient care and outcomes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“We work very closely with the K.H.M.H.  Of course the difference with Central Health Region is that K.H.M.H. is both our secondary and tertiary referral hospital whereas other regions have their secondary hospital in the district. So on a daily basis, at least three to four times a day, I am in communication with their epidemiologist, with their A&E staff. We continuously try to exchange information; we do contact tracing together as well. So we definitely have a very close and good working relationship with K.H.M.H. Quite a few of the cases are from Belize District and it is important to note that the cases that are more unwell are cases that are unvaccinated persons.”


While there has been an uptake in vaccinations across the country, Belize is in its third wave. There have been a number of deaths recorded over the last week and Doctor Diaz-Musa says that the vaccine saves lives.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa

“At this point, access is not a problem. For the Belize District, we have two or three main sites. Well we have two sites, especially Swift Hall and Central Health Region that we are here vaccinating every single day. We’ve started to open Central Health Region site on Saturday mornings as well, so if you can’t make it during the week, please take the opportunity to come out and get your vaccine Saturday morning. We’re also doing numerous outreach. We are going to the River Valley, we are going to businesses, we are going to areas – for instance, the Civic Center, we are there this morning – so we are trying to ensure that access is not a problem; that wherever you live or however you commute, you are able to find one of our sites and get your vaccine done.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed