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Oct 11, 2021

Manage Your Diabetes and Other Conditions to Improve COVID-19 Survival Odds

It is difficult to compare Belize’s COVID co morbidity-related deaths to those of other countries because no country is sharing those statistics in their COVID mortality reports. But Belize’s COVID mortality rate is high. The data for Belize shows that from August first up to last week Friday, there were ninety deaths from COVID-19. Half of the elderly patients, or those over age sixty, were fully vaccinated. The other seven were younger people who suffered from at least one poorly-managed underlying health condition. Deputy Regional Manager for the Ministry of Health’s Central Health Region, Dr Melissa Musa, told News Five today that to survive the extremely deadly Delta variant of COVID, we need to be fully vaccinated, yes, but also as healthy as we can be.  And if we suffer from diabetes, hypertension, asthma, obesity, cancer or other health conditions, then we need to ensure that those conditions are properly controlled.


Dr. Melissa Musa

Dr. Melissa Musa, Deputy Reg. Mgr, Central Health Region 

“You may have a diabetic person who is very well-controlled, compliant with medication, compliant with diet, etcetera, and may not – so that person’s immune system may be better able to respond than the diabetic person who is poorly-compliant or who is not able to manage the blood sugar level. So, we look at co-morbidities, definitely, as one of the factors that contribute to persons being hospitalized, to persons dying from COVID-19, but we also look at age. Age in itself is a risk factor.  And, like I mentioned, fifty-three percent of the deaths were sixty and over. And if you carry it down to fifty and over, it’s ninety-five percent of the deaths in the fully vaccinated category. Yes, the vaccines are absolutely important, and we do know, and the data reflects, that fully vaccinated persons in the younger age group are surviving COVID. The unvaccinated persons in the older age group – I think it’s about three to four times – at risk of dying and hospitalization. The virus is so severe that once it gets into your system and into your lungs, even otherwise healthy persons can succumb to the disease if they’re not vaccinated. I think that’s really important. We have a target population of around twenty-five thousand – this is just rounding off – it’s a little bit more than that, for sixty and older. And of that, the fully vaccinated, we have almost seventy-two percent of that category of persons fully vaccinated, so we have seventeen thousand plus persons over sixty who have received both vaccines or who are considered fully vaccinated.”


Dr. Diaz Musa says that another factor that can result in a COVID death is the length of time that a patient takes to seek help after they start to suffer from severe symptoms. Of note is that the number of COVID deaths disclosed in the interview with Dr Musa does not include the deaths that occurred from last Friday night to this morning, since those numbers were still being tallied when the interview was conducted.

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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