Turning to the Ministry of Health, Dr Marvin Manzanero may be home sick with COVID - but that didn't stop the new honchos at the Minister of Health from pretty much firing him via talk show. Today on LOVE FM's morning show, Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat said plainly that Dr. Manza's work was finished in the COVID 19 fight and that the ministry was looking for more qualified persons:

Hon. Michel Chebat - Minister of Health
"Unfortunately, Dr. Manzanero as is now public knowledge has also been afflicted by the virus and so, he's currently out of the ministry, we have appointed an interim DHS Ernesto. Dr. Manzanero has contributed and he has done his part in the fight against COVID but as I had said earlier when you asked me that question, we have a mandate to change and we are looking at bringing in the best possible individuals to help us to combat this disease and to help us formulate a proper approach and so forth Ernesto, I think I will answer that question in that way you know."

Manzanero has not replied to our questions about his current condition, or his standing in the ministry. We do know that he has been made to hand over his DHS vehicle, and had already been moved from his office in the first week of the new administration.

Acting DHS Has Deep Political Connect

And, Manzanero is being replaced - for the time being at least - by Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa. She has been the Deputy Regional Manager for the Central Health Region for the past 12 years - and was yesterday named the acting Director of Health Services for the next three months, at least.

In so doing she Dr. Diaz leapfrogs two deputy directors of Health Services. And while her qualifications or competence cannot be denied - the question of nepotism does rear its head. Dr. Diaz is the sister in law of the Minister of Home Affairs, and when asked about her appointment today in Belmopan, he invoked what can only be called, the Barrow Defence:

Hon. Kareem Musa - Minister of Home Affairs
"I would want to echo the sentiments of the former prime minister when he was defending certain appointments in his administration, that if you are qualified for a particular post, then you are deserving of that post and anybody in the Ministry of Health can tell you that Dr. Diaz being in her position since COVID-19 has been the hardest worker and I'm not in any way discounting the value of other workers in Belize City but she in charge of central region, so we're talking Belize district, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, she has not slept believe it or not since COVID-19, so she has been on the ball, she has a good grasp of the situation and I'm sure that she's more than deserving of that post as interim DHS."

Reporter
"As a member of your immediate family, are you aware of any information that she may be permanently taking over the position?"

Hon. Kareem Musa
"Not to my knowledge, I only heard from her that she is the interim DHS, I have no knowledge of the future posting for that particular position."

Channel 7