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No Coronavirus in Belize #540283
01/29/20 05:15 AM
01/29/20 05:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Keep Calm, No Coronavirus in Belize

There was a Coronavirus scare on Caye Caulker last night which gained social media momentum early this morning. 

But tonight we can tell you that the particularly dangerous strain of the Coronavirus that's all over the world news has not been detected in Belize. 

What happened in Caye Caulker last night was hype and confusion surrounding a Chinese tourist who had been screened upon leaving China, and again when entering the U.S.A at LAX before being cleared for travel to Belize, where he has been treated very badly. 

In an effort to allay public fears, the Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero spoke to PLUS TV today in Belmopan where he outlined the facts of what is being done to protect Belizeans from the virus:

Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services.
"We had our first online meeting with other Caribbean countries last week Wednesday. And that is as a result of what potential implications this has for the region. We had another meeting on Friday which was already scheduled where we discussed briefly about the coronavirus and influenza which is the broader topic. And this morning we had an internal meeting to find out what the surveillances plans are and how they are coming along for each of the four regions in the country. And that is in preparation for the other activities we are having this week. As we speak there should be a meeting happening at the airport. With Civil Aviation Authorities and the central health region Karl Huesner to lay out and ensure that the plan is rolling the way it is supposed to be rolling whenever there is an alert of a new potential virus. One of the key issues is people will start to flag and I think it is has been overwhelming on social media and you can't defend everything that is there. The issue of travel bans or that maybe we should not be allowing anybody from China to get here. That is not what is international health regulation. So when you go to the WHO website it clearly articulates and outlines what needs to happen. What does that mean? For people that are arriving from a potential area where there are active infections happening, you would have to go through a screening process which means determine whether they are carrying any signs or symptoms. Determine whether they are potential carriers. Tell them if they get ill where they need to go, in terms of a health facility in the country, determine where they have been, where they will be and make sure that you are keeping track of them. Understand that when people get to Belize, as we know now, coming out of China, they are pre-screened before they are allowed to board the plane. When they are getting into US airports they are screened again. So, there are already two layers of screening that happen before they get to Belize."

"The meeting at the airport is to ensure that the public health inspectors that are there are able to further screen any person that has China as their originating point of departure wherever they are coming through. So that, there will be another screening process that happens once they arrive in Belize. If they are asymptomatic, if they are visiting they need to be monitored and we need to be able to follow these persons for the time they are going to be here assuming that they don't live here. What will happen is that whenever there is any potential case, is that there will be a team that is sent out to investigate what is happening. I understand that the patient that was evaluated yesterday, well the person because it isn't a patient, is asymptomatic. And that was done again today. But I don't have the full report. I have the preliminary report to say that he has no signs and no symptoms, he is not coming from a region where there is active transmission because that is a part of your epidemiological investigation, basic public health. So, he is a low risk. He was screened before he left China, he was screened at the airport in L. A. moved on to Dallas and then on to Belize. No symptoms, no sign. So he has been told we need to map out where you are going to Belize and you need to be aware of what you need to be in case you start feeling ill. We will make a determination by the end of the day whether we will start swabbing even though he is not ill. Ideally we should not be swabbing everybody just because they are coming from China. It also goes against basic public health measures."

"It seems to be human to human, but it doesn't seem to be in a sustained kind of fashion. It does seem to have a higher transmission rate than SARS did because we had already 5,000 cases when we last checked and that doesn't count all those asymptomatic cases. The mortality rate doesn't seem to be as high, it seems to be around 2% up to now. Mortality seems to be associated in patients who already have other chronic conditions which would mimic what other flew viruses have. I mean, if you are diabetic, if you have HIV, if you are dialysis, you are more likely to have a complication as a result of the flue. It is the same thing that seems to be happening with this virus. It may very well just go back to being like any other corona viruses that have been circulating since 2005 or thereabouts. So, we will see as it evolves. But for now, it is basic prevention measures. As with any other flu virus. l think we have been criticized for saying wash your hands, don't touch your face, but it starts with that. That's the basics. That is 90% of any infection that you get. It is going to be because we don't wash our hands properly, and we usually go on to pass the transmission from our hands to our face."

The Ministry of Health urges proper hygiene in the washing of hands and refraining from touching the face. 

Channel 7


Re: No Coronavirus in Belize [Re: Marty] #540307
01/30/20 05:25 AM
01/30/20 05:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Ministry of Health says Airport is screening for Coronavirus

The National Surveillance Team of the Ministry of Health continues to monitor all epidemiological information and surveillance activities in relation to the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The Ministry has met with airport authorities and relevant stakeholders to review the screening methods and processes to be implemented in the event of any suspected case. To date, this region, including Belize, has no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV. This week, the Ministry has been engaged in ongoing discussions with the Caribbean Public Health Agency as well as the regional and country offices of the Pan American Health Organization to keep everyone abreast of the regional response.

The Ministry of Health reiterates that the best way to reduce spreading viruses (including 2019-nCoV) and minimizing infection is by practicing proper handwashing hygiene, cleaning hands with soap and clean running water, covering nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or inside elbows, and avoiding contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Re: No Coronavirus in Belize [Re: Marty] #540353
02/01/20 05:11 AM
02/01/20 05:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Update No. 2 – Novel CoronavirusTravel Advisory

The Ministry of Health continues to closely monitor the evolving novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak, particularly with the changing dynamics of the infection. The public is thus reminded that information in reference to this can change and any such change for the Belize context would be communicated through the official channels of communication of the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health is aware that the World Health Organization has declared this as a public health event of international concern, and therefore, the Ministry has scaled up its surveillance efforts at the principal ports of entry. The Ministry is also aware that the mortality rate remains at around 2% for now but this can change and the public will be informed if anything changes in this regard.

The Ministry is aware of some travel restrictions being placed in other jurisdictions and wishes to inform the public of the following:

• For those who were/are planning to travel to China from Belize, it is recommended that those plans be postponed until we are further aware of the extent of this 2019-nCov;

• Persons arriving in Belize from China will be subjected to quarantine protocols as the case may be and this will be based on epidemiological data; and

• Therefore, non-essential travel to/from China is not recommended at this time.

The Ministry is not currently recommending that Belizeans living in China travel to Belize to avoid 2019-nCov, but that rather, advise adequate precautionary measures are taken to avoid infection.

The more common symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties - those similar to any other flu viruses.

Universal precautions to avoid further spread of any respiratory infection is at this time of paramount importance.

If further information is required, kindly contact the Office of the Director of Health Services at 822-0809 or [email protected]

Re: No Coronavirus in Belize [Re: Marty] #540410
02/05/20 06:06 AM
02/05/20 06:06 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Ministry of Health Update No. 3 – Novel Coronavirus (2019 – nCoV)

The Ministry of Health today, February 4th, had a national surveillance meeting with all the regional surveillance teams to provide an update on the global and regional situations of the Novel Coronavirus (2019 - nCoV). This information has evolved and is being adapted to guide the response in Belize.

Several presentations were done including Preparedness Measures, Screening at Ports of Entry, Lab Screening, and Risk Communication. Regional teams had an opportunity to discuss challenges and gaps in their response plans as well as to establish specific actions and communication channels approved by the National Surveillance Team.

Several stakeholders were invited to the meeting including persons from the National Emergency Management Organization, Ministry of Tourism, Belize Tourism Board, PAHO Belize office and Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority. The Ministry and its partners continue to foster the collaboration in the mutual exchange of information and support as this is considered a national public health priority.

The Ministry of Health is also actively following up on all rumored cases including the two recent cases that were negative for the Novel Coronavirus. To date, the region including Belize has no case of the 2019 – nCoV.

The Ministry reiterates that the best way to reduce the spread of viruses (including 2019-nCoV) and minimizing infection is by practicing proper handwashing hygiene, covering the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

The public will continue to be updated as necessary through press releases from the Government Press Office and updates on the Facebook pages for the Ministry of Health and Director of Health Services.

Re: No Coronavirus in Belize [Re: Marty] #540459
02/07/20 01:42 PM
02/07/20 01:42 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Ministry of Health Clarifies Misleading Statements of a Suspected Coronavirus Case at the Northern Border

The Ministry of Health continues its active surveillance activities across the country and has had the active involvement of multiple partners at all levels. It is this surveillance that has allowed the Ministry to have a timely interaction and follow-up of cases of epidemiological interest as it relates to the current novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. It is in light of this that the Ministry clarifies a situation that has unfortunately become a social media post and news item with misleading and untruthful statements of a situation at the northern border last night.

Our surveillance team had been alerted days ago of a Belizean student returning from China; surveillance and screening measures had been set up for his arrival at that border. It should be noted that the student went through four border entrances where he was cleared at all points prior to his arrival in Belize. That student is asymptomatic and was never ill. The student departed China for reasons not related to any illness but rather as a result of the current social situations in China. The student was interviewed and cleared by health officials.

Our focus at this time is on the wellbeing of the individual and his family. Prior to his arrival, the student’s family had been prepared in terms of mechanisms to be implemented for isolation as a precautionary measure. The student will remain in isolation and has no positive epidemiological link to any coronavirus case.

The Ministry regrets this unfortunate situation that the individual and his family endured last night and continues to endure even today, and urges all to be respectful of the importance of the privacy of persons involved, and by extension, the family and the health professionals throughout these surveillance processes. Furthermore, this situation gives the Ministry an opportunity to review and strengthen its procedures and processes for frontline workers at border entries.

As a final reminder, the Ministry of Health reminds the public of the need to ensure that information shared is adequately sourced and validated as the spread of panic does not help any systems in place.

[Linked Image]

Re: No Coronavirus in Belize [Re: Marty] #540580
02/13/20 02:04 PM
02/13/20 02:04 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Video: Ministry of Health Response Plan for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Re: No Coronavirus in Belize [Re: Marty] #540705
02/20/20 03:12 PM
02/20/20 03:12 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,237
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Belize now able to test for COVID-19

As a follow up to the training that two officers received in Mexico City, an in-house training is currently ongoing at our Central Medical Laboratory.

Parallel to this, we can confirm that we now have the capacity to do initial screening for COVID-19 as we now have primers and probes to test in country.

The tests will be carried out on potential/suspect cases following specific screening purposes.

Office of Director of Health Services


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