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Oct 5, 2021

A look at free testing center in Belize City

The new COVID regulations that came into effect on October first require people, to show a vaccination card or a negative COVID test before entering government building. This includes employees of those places. GOB is now offering a measure of relief to person who requires a negative COVID test. Two COVID-19 testing sites have been established, one in the City of Belmopan and a second in Belize City. These sites are offering rapid tests free of cost. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.

 

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer, Maternal & Child Health Technical Advisor, MOH

“The Ministry of Health and Wellness is supporting the Central Health Region by providing this COVID 19 testing site. This is targeting persons who are required to present a negative test to their employer or persons who need to do ex transaction at a government building where they are requesting the proof of vaccination or a negative test.”

 

Paul Lopez, Reporting

With new legislation in place as of October first, Dr Beer says it is only fair to give the public access to this service free of cost. This site is being staffed by newly hired trained personnel. The Ministry decided that putting the responsibility on already overworked health care workers would prove to be a greater burden.

 

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer

“We are just doing a trial for these sites to assist the health care workers. The persons that are providing these services are not from persons employed by the Ministry of Health. We are struggling providing care to persons that are hospitalized, patients that are reaching to the hospital for other services. We have health care workers in the flu clinics, in the COVID Wards. There is a lot going on, so we couldn’t allow this to be one more task for the staff at the different health facilities.”

 

With two sites established, one in the City of Belmopan, and second here at the Belize City Civic Center, there are plans to expand across the country.

 

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer

“So eventually, depending on the turn out that we have with these two sites, we will expand to other districts. But, the services will be provided in the other districts. Today we are more than thirty and we will see how it goes.”

 

While there are vaccinated persons who are here because employers are requesting a negative test, despite having received one dose of the COVID vaccine, the majority of persons who visited the site today are unvaccinated.

 

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer

“The result is available in fifteen minutes. But because of the paper work, well then twenty five minutes more or less waiting, total process.”

 

Paul Lopez

“What is the brand of the test being used?”

 

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer

“It is the Standard Q SD Biosensor Antigen Rapid test.”

 

Dr Bee emphasized that these test are not valid for travelling purposes. Also, the results you receive expire after fourteen days.

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


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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