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Aug 11, 2021

Doctors explain why Delta variant is the one to watch

As we told you last night, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, with assistance from Baylor College of Medicine detected four variants of COVID-19 in Belize. Eighty one COVID-19 positive samples were processed. From that number three resulted positive for the Epsilon variant. Five resulted positive for the Alpha V1 variant. Nine resulted positive for the Delta variant. Three resulted positive for the Gamma variant. Of all four variants, the Delta variant is of greatest concern for local health authorities. Doctors, Mark Musa and Jorge Hidalgo were guests on Channel Five’s Open Your Eyes this morning. They explained why this variant is so concerning.


Dr. Mark Musa, Internist

Dr. Mark Musa

“The main one that is very concerning is the Delta. And, I think nine out of the twenty or so positive cases were positive for Delta. But, as doctors we have been seeing a change on how the virus has been behaving for the last two to three months, since maybe in the month of June. And, we have noticed that it is far more infectious and easier to spread. And, for every positive case that has been identified, you find on contact tracing, more people have been infected. So, it is felt that the Delta variant is at least two or three times more infectious than the original variant.  That is the main concern; it is more easier to spread. That makes it very important that we continue our preventative measures, wearing our mask, following social distancing, and avoiding overcrowding and then to get the protection of the vaccine. We have the opportunity of the vaccine to add additional protection against severe disease, hospitalization, death. So we cannot be putting pressure on the vaccine so early, because we still have such a vulnerable population. I think some thirty-three percent of persons have only had one dose. I think thirteen point five are fully vaccinated.”


Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Head of COVID-19 Unit, Belize Healthcare Partners

“With the Delta, one we see the trend more constantly. We see more people in the twenty, thirty, and forties being admitted in the hospital. Also, it is very difficult to see someone basically drown, very ill in the ICU, and of course it is more difficult to see how they die.”

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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