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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.


The San Pedro Sun

Measures to follow during mandatory quarantine
As Ambergris Caye continues under a mandatory quarantine after been declared on the afternoon of Monday, March 23rd, islanders are reminded to stay at home, practice social distancing and continue proper hand washing. During this period, restaurants, and most super markets and shops will remain closed. Residents are urged to comply with the quarantine orders and remain at home. This measure will be enforced by police, who will be conducting patrols across the island.

Update on COVID-19 situation by our local leaders
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Area Representative Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. announced during a briefing on Reef TV that stores will be allowed to open tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25th from 7AM to 10AM to give people the opportunity to get groceries. Other places allowed to open include bakeries, pharmacies and the gas station. Guerrero added that those less fortunate can contact Hope Haven at 226-2333 for some assistance with groceries. On another note... according to Dr. Marvin Manzanero from the Ministry of Health, the person who tested positive is doing very well.... 34 samples were sent today for COVID-19 testing and results should be available tomorrow.

Ministry Issues Warning Against the Use of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
The Ministry reminds the public that there are no approved drugs for the specific treatment of COVID-19. While the aforementioned drugs have been used experimentally for the management of COVID-19 patients, the Ministry of Health strongly advises the public against self-medicating with any of these drugs.

Queen Conch Season closes three months early; quota has been met
With the quota for the 2019-2020 conch season set at 925,000 pounds, the Belize Fisheries Department has declared the season closed, 3 months early.

US Embassy Donates Heavy Duty Trucks to the Ministry of National Security
The United States Military Liaison Office through the Embassy of the United States in Belize today, March 24th, donated 10 2020 Ford 250 trucks to the Ministry of National Security.

International airport closes down; confirmed Coronavirus case on Ambergris Caye leads to mandatory quarantine
Ambergris Caye is on official 72-hour quarantine following the announcement of the first positive Covid-19 patient from the island. The International Airport and borders have been closed as well, but no restrictions have been placed on incoming or outgoing freight and cargo.

COVID-19 Measures to be taken by the Attorney General’s Ministry
Belmopan – March 23, 2020 – The Attorney General’s Ministry informs the public of the following conditions in respect to the delivering of services, effective immediately: A. Legal Advice and Services Centre: The provision of all services to the public from the Legal Advice and Services Centre country-wide is suspended effective today, March 23, 2020 […]

KHMHA goes into Emergency Mode and adjust visitation in preparation for COVID-19 response
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority advises the general public that as of today Monday 23rd March 2020 we are in Emergency Mode with adjustments to our Visitor's Policy as part of our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Emergency mode means we have postponed elective services and an abbreviated clinic schedule will be announced. Visitors with respiratory symptoms will not be allowed to visit patients. All persons entering the hospital will be scanned and triaged at nurse’s stations located at the KHMH lobby and Accident and Emergency.

Ambergris Today

Very quiet in San Pedro
Several photos of downtown Tuesday.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Travel Alert — U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize (24-MAR-2020)
Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City is now closed for conunercial transportation for a minimum of 30 days. U.S. Embassy Belmopan is compiling a list of persons seeking to leave Belize. If you are a U.S. citizen who is considering returning to the United States from Belize, please enroll in STEP at https://step.state.v,rov/ and provide your name and contact information to our email address: belmopanuscitizenAstate.gov so we can contact you as soon as we have any updates.

BEL San Pedro Office Closed Until Further Notice
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises customers in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye that the office located on Pescador Drive is closed until further notice; however, customers may contact us at any time. The office closure is a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and the communities we serve following the confirmation of a COVID-ig case in San Pedro. We assure our customers that BEL will continue to provide safe and reliable services. Customers may contact us by phone, email, text or Facebook for service requests or queries.

Should you need 5 gal water In San Pedro
Agua Dulce (226-2929) has no water delivery today but they are filling containers at their place which is in San Pedrito by the Office Restaurant.

PRESS RELEASE COVID- 19- PROTECTED AREAS CLOSURE
Due to confirmation of the first case of COVID- 19 in Belize, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) is joining the national efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The travel restrictions and social distancing measures are impacting the day to day staff operations on sites. Consequently, APAMO is now tasked to responsibly protect the health and safety of its most valuable resource its staff and the general public. In this regard, it has been decided that all protected areas co-managed by APAMO members will be closed to the general public as of March 24, 2020 and shall remain closed until further notice.

Vital Statistics Unit Implements COVID-19 Measures
The Attorney General’s Ministry informs the public of the following conditions with respect to the delivery of services at the Vital Statistics Unit in Belize City effective immediately. Services to the public will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The office will be closed to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On days of service to the public, the provision of all services continues under strict social distancing conditions, as guided by the Ministry of Health, in the wake of COVID-19. Accordingly, the following will apply:

Ministry Issues Warning Against the Use of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
The Ministry of Health is aware of an increase in the public’s request for the drugs Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine as possible treatment options for COVID-19. The Ministry reminds the public that there are no approved drugs for the specific treatment of COVID-19. While the aforementioned drugs have been used experimentally for the management of COVID-19 patients, the Ministry of Health strongly advises the public against self-medicating with any of these drugs.

COVID-19 Measures taken by the Belize Postal Service
he Belize Postal Service is an essential service department. As such it will endeavor to continue to provide postal services to the Belizean public to the extent that it can reasonably do so. Notwithstanding the above, the Belize Postal Service strives to make postal services available amid the detection of the COVID-19, the point must be emphasized that the safety and wellbeing of all its employees is of paramount importance. As such, every decision to continue to offer this vital service to the public will be taken with the safety and wellbeing of its staff into full consideration.

World Tuberculosis Day 2020
World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed every year on March 24th as a means of increasing public awareness of the disease. The theme for this year is “It’s time to end TB!” In 2018, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with TB worldwide - 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women, and 1.1 million children. TB remains a public health concern and is still responsible for 1.5 million global deaths every year.

Announcement from the Office of Ombudsman
In alignment with the guidelines and press releases from the Government Press Office and Ministry of Health, our Office in an effort to safeguard members of the public and our staff during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Ombudsman will no longer be entertaining walk-ins.

Social Security Board Belize implement temporary suspension of Registration Services
Customers: Please take note that we have implemented a temporary suspension of the Registration Services as a COVID-19 measure.

BMA says NO to COVID19 Symptoms
As of Thursday, March 26th, 2020, Belize Medical Associates will no longer be seeing patients with symptoms and signs of Covid-19.

Temporary Suspension of Immigration Services
The public is hereby notified that the Ministry of Immigration has suspended the following services countrywide effective today, March 24, 2020 until further notice: - Applications for Belize passport (except where there is need for a passport for emergency travel) - Applications for nationality - Applications for permanent residence - Applications for visas (except where such visas are required to allow the applicant to obtain extensions in order to maintain their legal status in Belize)

TROPIC AIR TO RESUME DOMESTIC CARGO OPERATIONS ON THURSDAY
Tropic Air will be resuming limited cargo operations to its entire domestic network (including San Pedro and Corozal). As the schedule can change based on unforeseen developments, we encourage all our customers to contact their nearest cargo station for more information. We also continue to offer passenger service between Belize City Municipal, Dangriga, Placencia and Punta Gorda. Corozal, Caye Caulker and San Pedro passenger service remains temporarily suspended.

Cancellation of Sailing Prohibition for Cargo Vessels - San Pedro
The operators of cargo vessels providing service between San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and the mainland are hereby notified that Cargo vessels are authorised to provide cargo service to the island. The prohibition of sailing for all cargo vessels has been lifted, under the following conditions: 1. All vessels are required to land at the Belize Port Authority dock in San Pedro and to load and offload their cargo, under the supervision of officials at that location. The procedure for berthing allocation remains the same.

Some positive news from our local Atlantic and Belize Banks

U.S. Embassy Belize Donates Trucks
We are proud to donate ten 2020 Ford 250 trucks to the Ministry of National Security today to assist in their efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Eight of the trucks were assigned to the Belize Defence Force and two to the Belize Coast Guard. The trucks were handed over by the U.S. Embassy's Senior Defense Official, Lt. Col. Ryan Jones. The US$793,213 donation comes complete with a two-year supply of spares and accessories. The contribution was made through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing Program.

Channel 7

Belize's First COVID-19 Case Had Contact With 34 Persons
Tonight, Belize still has only one confirmed case of COVID-19. There have been 64 total tests done and one positive result.  That's the case out in San Pedro, a 38 year old female, a Belizean national who returned from Los Angeles on Thursday and started exhibiting symptoms on Friday. She's in self quarantine and she's already getting over the flu symptoms. But what about all those she came in contact with?  From the international flight she arrived on at the airport, then on a domestic flight to San Pedro, and then on the island.

San Pedro In Sleep Mode
And  the health team has all the space it needs because San Pedro is on a quarantine lockdown.  The busiest island in the land, has been reduced to a ghost town.  That's after a state of emergency was declared yesterday for Ambergris Caye. And, according to the our colleague from the san Pedro Sun, the island had "gone ghost" today: Dion Vansen - San Pedro Sun: "There is no life; there is absolutely no signs that of what San Pedro is about. During a day like today, at any time of the year, high tourism season, the streets will be packed with traffic..."

Abrupt Cut Off Of Island Transport Unintended
And, while the island is quiet as a selling army today, it was frantic yesterday as people rushed to try and get off. Some, for economic reasons - because their accommodation arrangements had expired, or others, because of the COVID panic.   But, how it played out, with San Pedranos needing to get home, stranded in the city, and Caye Caulker passengers blamelessly caught up in the middle, and police stopping then from docking in the city.well, all that was a whole big mess.  And un unnecessary one.   Today, Doug Singh, who sits on the National Oversight Committee - and owns a resort on Caye Caulker told us that how it went down left a lot to be desired:

The New Normal In a Be-Masked Belize
Singh himself got caught up in that inconvenience today, and we'll have that story for you in our next segment. But to some extent, inconvenience may be part of the new normal in a world that has become "curiouser and curiouser" in the COVID-19 era.  

Manzanero: Pre-Covid "Normal" Might Never Return
And, according to the Director of Health Services, it may be some time, maybe never, before we revisit what we knew as normal before COVID. Here's how he put it in today's "Ask The Experts" session: Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services: "I don't know if it's going to ever go back to being normal. If when we go back to being a normal, whatever that means..."

Un-masking The Truth About Masks
Manzanero also spoke about another part of the new normal which you saw in Cherisse's story.  That's the part with the masks - which are becoming normalised, but Manzanero went to lengths to say those should not be part of the new normal even in a virus - laden world: "If you are not ill, you shouldn't be wearing a mask and I am seeing police officers, transport officers, people doing delivery and I cringe at that because I was waiting at a checkpoint, 3 cars behind and I'm seeing one of the persons wearing a mask in the time I was waiting, actually touch his mask, 3 times and I'm sure if he didn't have a mask he probably would not have been touching his face..."

Regular Bus Runs Disrupted
And one more thing that can't become the new normal is the disruption of regular bus service.
From last night, the news went out that several of the bus lines running to and from northern Belize were suddenly suspending all operations until further notice. Why?  Well, they say it's social distancing, but we'll guess that it could also have a little to do with their bottom line - because it's not easy to make money off a bus with 25 passengers.  But whatever the reason, the problem is that they only gave a few hours' notice to thousands of Belizeans who rely daily on public transportation to commute from their homes in the north to their workplaces in the Belize district and beyond.

Disrupted Bus Runs Stopped Health Workers Movements
And, there disruption in regular bus service is also affecting the COVID response. That's because many Ministry of Health employees depend on it every day. DHS Manzanero told us more: "The bus that stop running from the north is another headache for us because health staff, lab staff is primarily from the northern part of Belize..."

Courtney Weatherburne, A Long Way From Home
So, as we've been telling you, Belize has joined the global coronavirus clan battling this pandemic.  According to the WHO, 195 countries have now confirmed cases of COVID 19. Now, in terms of national response, we are way behind many countries that are dealing with the outbreak. Take our friendly ally Taiwan, they have under 200 cases but they have it under control and there are very strict quarantine rules.  India, which has the second largest population in the world, is trying their best to contain it but it is spreading rapidly. It is a challenge for them because imagine trying to achieve social distancing in a country with 1.3 billion people.  A country where everywhere you go, you are surrounded by crowds.  Well, our Courtney Weatherburne is studying in New Delhi, which is one of several major cities in India that are under strict lock down for the next 21 days.

Things Got a Little Crazy When...
And while students or travellers might expect to get stuck abroad, what about finding yourself stuck in your own country?   Anything's possible in the COVID-19 era and that's just what happened to a group of construction workers when they tried to get home from their Caye Caulker worksite.  That's because yesterday when the government declared a state of emergency on the island of San Pedro they outlined the provision that quote: "No person will be allowed to leave or enter Ambergris Caye during this time. Unauthorized vessels will be banned from leaving or arriving on the island."  End quote. 

Negative Results From Contacts of American Visitor With COVID-19
And, continuing with our COIVD coverage, health authorities today gave an update on the American tourist who spent 5 days in Belize last week, and then tested positive for COIVD-19 after he returned to New York. He is a young male, who was touring in a larger group and sharing accommodations with at leats two other men.  Tracing has been done on all his contacts in Belize, and Manzanero said they were all negative:

The Cubans Are Coming!
And while that American has gone, the Cubans are coming!  A medical brigade of 62 Cuban medical professionals will start arriving tomorrow, and continue on Thursday.  Government has chartered a private jet to bring them into the country.  They are here to significantly boost the national response to COVID 19.  DHS Manzanero discussed their deployment today:

Fabric Store Close Because of COVID Concerns
And while help is on the way Belizeans are doing their part to flatten the curve of a potential COVID-19 community spread. Those efforts saw dozens of non-essential businesses close their doors today. Among them is one of Albert streets retail fixtures, Mikado.  Making the announcement of the closure today the store's managers said quote: " We can't stress enough how important and critical it is to stay home during this initial stage so that we can help to contain the spread of the virus."  We stopped into the store for a word with manager Umesh Mahitani who told us that the decision was driven by the fact that the virus can remain on the fabric:

Terminal Deck Fast Food Says Take It Out
And while Mikados is among the businesses that are closing until further notice, there is one fast-food restaurant in Belize City which is struggling to remain open under the threat of the COVID-19 scare.  That Terminal Deck Food Joint, located on Amara Avenue, specializes in fast food. This weekend, its owner, Abdul Ahmad, called on his follow restaurant-owning colleagues to boost their delivery services in the promotion of social distancing.

Man Dies in Fatal Accident
There was a deadly traffic accident on the George Price Highway this morning, between Miles 12 and 13.  It has left one Belize City man dead, and two injured.  It happened at about 9:10 when a Mitsubishi Outlander heading to Hattieville had a blow-out on the left rear wheel. The driver lost control and the SUV ran into a white 40-foot trailer, parked in front of the Softy toilet paper factor.

Need Help With Your Light Bill? BEL Has Its Own Bills to Pay!
Since last week, we've been reporting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Belizeans who make their living off the tourism industry. Suddenly, many of them don't have a job because all international travel has been shut down. As the COVID-19 threat increases, there will more Belizeans who won't be able to pay their bills.

BEL Willing To Consider On a Case By Case Basis
The BEL executives also announced this afternoon that the company is prepared to allow an extended grace period on bills to Belizeans devastated by COVID-19.  But, they say that it has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. They explained how the relief to their customers will work for those who truly need it:

BEL Will Keep the Lights On
In their 40-minute press conference, the BEL executives also discussed the preparations that they have made to keep the lights on, even as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Here's what had to say about that: Sean Fuller - GM, Comm. and Retail Services , BEL: "We are very optimistic and we believe that while we are in this serious situation in this country, BEL's position is that we will continue to serve this country. We don't expect any power outages. Our preventative or prevention and reaction plan being headed by Mr. Armstrong allows us to respond to any trouble, respond to any issues..."

Fuel Prices Fall
And while you should conserve energy, don't feel a way to drive a few extra miles for social distancing in the countryside. It might be made easier by cheap diesel.  At midnight, the price per gallon is going down by 99 cents. That takes its price from $9.24 to $ 8.25 per gallon - the lowest in over a year.

Why Not Do More Testing to Flatten Curve?
As we told you at the top of the news, Belize only has one positive test for COVID 19, out of 64 total tests which have been performed.  But, that's not enough.  And it has been shown  - in places like South Korea - that blanket testing is the only way to effectively flatten what is known as the infection curve. 

Manza: Call Centers, Call Me!
And speaking any yesterday's Ask the Experts Session, Manzanero discussed thew ticklish issue of call centres and social distancing.  We know those require operators to work in cubicles quite close together.  Manzanero says as social distance rules tighten, that may have to change:

Belize Medical Says Stay Away
And cutting quicker than a call center, Belize Medical Associates is pulling their hand, slowly, out of the alligator's mouth that is COVID-19.  In a Press release today the Private clinic announced that it would no longer see patients with signs or symptoms of COVID-19. 

Channel 5

Belize Remains with Only One Confirmed COVID-19 Case
The Ministry of Health has concluded its first preliminary exercise on San Pedro related to the positive COVID-19 case. According to Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero, some thirty-four [...]

La Isla Bonita Remains on Lockdown
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye remains on lockdown tonight. La Isla Bonita was placed on quarantine on Monday for seventy-two hours after a resident of the San Pedrito Area tested positive [...]

San Pedro Police Keeping the Peace on Ambergris Caye
To ensure that everything remains peaceful on Ambergris Caye, Superintendent Christopher Noble and his team are advising all resident to remain home. Noble is advising all businesses that alcohol must [...]

B.E.L. Says No Light Bill Waiver Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Amid the crushing economic impact of the coronavirus crisis many, including the opposition, are calling on government to have its majority-owned utility companies waive their respective bills for the next [...]

B.E.L. Implements Plan of Action to Help Customers Amid Corona Hardship
Despite the coronavirus emergency, B.E.L. says it continues to defray the monthly expenses of some three thousand senior citizens across the country.  The representative of the company reiterated, however, that [...]

A Statutory Instrument for Laid off Workers to Claim S.S.B. Benefits
Among the first to feel the implications of COVID-19 are the thousands of persons, primarily from the tourism industry, who have been sent home without pay or placed on holiday.  [...]

Despite Economic Burden of Pandemic, Can Employers Afford to Pay Staff at Lower Salary?
The S.I. is only to last for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The S.S.B. is working closely with the Ministry of Labour and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and [...]

Caye Caulker Non-Residents Abandon the Island Due to Fears of COVID-19 Spread
Following the announcement of the first case of COVID-19, flights and water taxis were suspended to San Pedro which is under a state of emergency.  Fear and panic drove many [...]

Tourism Industry Taking a Blow Due to COVID-19
Tourism based economies are taking a blow from the COVID-19 disease which has spread across the world. It is no exception in Belize as thousands of people who depend on [...]

Cuban Doctors to Arrive in Belize on Wednesday, Thursday
The first team of medical experts from Cuba will land in Belize on Wednesday and the second batch of doctors will arrive on Thursday via a chartered airplane from Guatemala. [...]

Cuba Working on COVID-19 Vaccine
According to Hernandez, Cuban medical professionals are working on a vaccine to neutralize the COVID-19 virus. According to press reports, preliminary results of the vaccine being developed by Cuba to fight [...]

S.S.B. – Taking Care of Stakeholders and Staff while Managing COVID-19
As you heard, Social Security will be amending its regulations to provide cover to persons who are left unemployed as a result of the novel coronavirus. Persons, who have been [...]

S.S.B. Proposes Advance Payment to Pensioners
The Prime Minister sin expected to make official announcements on Wednesday, but another recommendation that S.S.B. Chair Doug Singh revealed during his appearance on Open Your Eyes this morning is [...]

Many Bus Operators Suspend Operations
Several large bus operators announced that they were halting services between their base and Belize City. Others have decided to reduce the number of buses operating, so they have adjusted [...]

Bus Run Cancellations Tough for Health Workers
During today’s Ask the Expert session, the Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero also spoke on the bus situation. One viewer asked the panel if it was safe to [...]

More Questions for the M.O.H. Experts
Viewers of the live webcast also wanted to know about the possibility of a lockdown; as well as the use of certain drugs to treat the COVID-19. Here’s the Director [...]

Changes at the Fuel Pumps
The novel coronavirus has caused the prices for crude oil and fuel to plummet in the international market. Some pump stations in the U.S. have lower prices to as much [...]

B.E.L. Implements Cost-Cutting Measures Amid Coronavirus Predicament
While the price of diesel dips, government is also calling for cut backs at ministries, including its majority-owned utilities to curtail their expenses during the COVID-19 crisis.  Belize Electricity Limited, [...]

1 Dead & 2 Others Injured in Traffic Accident
One man was killed and two others injured in a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway. This morning, Dorian Anthony was on his way to visit his incarcerated [...]

Corozal Free Zone Grinds to a Halt
The coronavirus crisis continues to have far-reaching financial consequences in all sectors of the economy, including the commercial free zone in Corozal.  While most of the attention has been focused [...]

Commercial Banks Offer Packages to Costumers
There is some good news from the private sector and that is that commercial banks are offering packages to customers who are facing hard times ahead.  The banks are extending [...]

Immigration Department Suspends Certain Services
Due to the threat of COVID-19, the Immigration Department is suspending certain services beginning today. Applications for passports will be accepted only for emergency travel; otherwise all is on hold.  [...]

Restaurant Businesses Take Serious Hit Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Like many businesses, restaurants are also feeling the effects of COVID-19 and will have to change their way of doing business. In the next twenty-four hours, restaurants will close their [...]

Chicken Prices at Quality More Affordable to Families
Quality Chicken is one of the main suppliers of chicken to the tourism industry and the population. Now, that the industry is at a standstill and people are losing their [...]

In times of Pandemic, Online Shopping is the Way to Go
Online shopping to stock up for food items is a most convenient way at a time when the country is under threat of COVID-19 and social distancing is a priority. [...]

Amandala

State of Emergency declared: San Pedro under COVID-19 lockdown
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, became the first municipality in Belize to have a confirmed coronavirus case after results of a test were received by Ministry of Health officials late last night. The announcement was made this morning at a press briefing by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero. Immediately following the announcement, people on San Pedro began boarding water taxis in a bid to leave the island. Their rush to leave, however, was halted by measures that were announced by the government.

Facing COVID-19, KHMH takes protective steps
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) has implemented measures to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 at the hospital. People visiting the hospital must undergo screening at a desk at the entrance to the hospital, and will be asked questions about places they had visited, and whether they are experiencing any of the symptoms of coronavirus. Also, only one person at a time will be allowed to visit a patient.

COVID-19 spawns new preventative measures
On Friday, as Belizeans were preparing for the weekend, the government announced new preventative measures to deal with the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Up to last weekend, Belize was the only country in Central America that did not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, as the World Health Organization (WHO) had dubbed the strain of coronavirus, a respiratory illness that could lead to death if it is left untreated.

Belize’s first COVID-19 case was “imported”
Today, the Government of Belize announced at an early morning press briefing the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, explained that the person is a Belizean who travels frequently between Belize and the Los Angeles area. The 38-year-old woman is a resident of San Pedro and returned to the country on a flight last Thursday. Dr. Manzanero stressed that the infected person began experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, but had not been sneezing.

Northern bus runs have been suspended effective tomorrow Tuesday, March 24
According to press releases issued by O-Tillett, R-Tillett, Valencia’s and Morales Transport, all their runs have been suspended until further notice due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 spawns new preventative measures
On Friday, as Belizeans were preparing for the weekend, the government announced new preventative measures to deal with the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Up to last weekend, Belize was the only country in Central America that did not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, as the World Health Organization (WHO) had dubbed the strain of coronavirus, a respiratory illness that could lead to death if it is left untreated. Belizeans woke up today, Monday, however, to a new reality. In an early morning press briefing, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, confirmed that Belize had discovered its first COVID-19 case.

American tourist with COVID-19 visited Belize
Belize went into this weekend as the only country in Central America to remain free of the dreadful coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Information that COVID-19 was discovered in an American man, who had been to Belize and whose name has not been made public, was made official today. The news that the American man, who visited Belize and had pleaded to get a COVID-19 test when he returned to the US, first began to make the rounds in social media earlier this week, where it had gained some traction.

Water taxi operations suspended because of COVID-19
An official announcement was made this morning during a press brief held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, along with officials of the COVID-19 task force, that Belize has registered its first positive COVID- 19 case — a Belizean woman, a San Pedrano, who frequently visits the United States. The 38-year-old woman returned from the US on Thursday, March 19, and went into isolation. She reportedly had minimal contact with others and was seen by a physician. The Ministry of Health reportedly began a tracing and mapping exercise after her return to Belize.

Coronavirus pandemic sends BTB staffers packing
The coronavirus pandemic that has been sweeping across the world has become a nightmare for the global tourism industry, with both planes and ships grounding to a halt. A little more than one week ago, cruise lines announced that they would suspend their calls to Belize, and this had a devastating impact on the local tourism industry, which employs hundreds of Belizeans. Layoffs in the tourism industry began from the time the announcement was made that cruise ships would no longer be making calls to Belize, but on Friday, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) began implementing cost-cutting measures that resulted in the layoffs of around half of its staff.

Editorial: Tourism will recover, but Belize still has to refocus
On Sunday, Belize was the only country in the Americas that hadn’t reported one person being infected with COVID-19 (since then, one Belizean who goes back and forth between Belize and the US has tested positive for the virus), but we are among the countries that are being hit the worst on the economic front. The financial losses in the larger countries are staggering, but expressed in relation to the size and robustness of their economies, their losses pale compared to what is happening to our economy in Belize, and what is going to take place if there is no return to normalcy soon.

The loss and the lesson of Carlos Garcia
The intransigence and wrongheadedness of the top brass of the KHMH and the Ministry of Health, in the face of urgent pleas from its Health Workers Union, makes me worry greatly about the future, and has shaken up to a fresh and painful state, some sad memories. A car break-in thief on Princess Margaret Drive stole my flash drives where I had stored records of my experiences over fifteen years in the management system of Nova Companies of Belize, the well-known, now defunct shrimp farm on the outskirts of Ladyville. I have forgotten more than many will ever know about the business of shrimp farming, but this crisis at Karl Heusner, and the “ignorance” of those making big decisions, brought me back to the sad and regrettable loss of life on the job one morning at Nova.

Released from murder charge 2 months ago, Paul Smith charged with murder again
The alleged killer of Derrick King, 21, an employee of Bowen and Bowen who was shot and killed about 3:15 p.m. on March 18 at the corner of Orange Street and West Street, has been arraigned, along with three others who were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The four men who have been arraigned are Paul Smith, 25, a resident of 11 Cemetery Road; Luciano Novelo, 19, a resident of 6 Baghdad Street; Randy Green, 27, a resident of 25 Cemetery Road; and Charles Middleton, 23, a resident of 25 Cemetery Road.

Two teens charged for the murder of Keith Courtenay
An ongoing investigation into the murder of Keith Courtenay, a 46-year-old City Council worker of Ebony Street, has led to two minors, 15, who have been jointly charged with murder. The father of 7 children and grandfather of 4, described as a hardworking family man and churchgoer who was not known to be involved in gangs, was shot eight times in the back while protecting his grandson when the shooting began, at about 5:15 Wednesday evening, March 4, in front of his mother’s house at the Ebony Street Long Barracks.

Lyndon Hinds, 27, and Kendale Flores, 25, charged with child’s murder
Two men, Lyndon Hinds, 27, and Kendale Flores, 25, were charged with the murder of Kia Herbert, 5, when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson. They were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Hinds is a construction worker of 57 Iguana Street Extension, while Flores is a welder of 9 Pitter Street. They were remanded until May 22.

92nd Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta 2020
A wintery dawn seemed to confirm the weatherman’s insistence of bad weather for the day’s historic event of the 92nd Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta. Sailed off the Digi Park in Belize City for the past few years, this annual event defiantly retains hold of a long Belizean tradition of sailing. As the wind veered to the north-east and dropped shortly after first light of dawn, the rays of feeble sunlight struggled through grey nimbus stratus.

C-Ray Full Throttle Thursday Race results – March 19
Here are the C-Ray Full Throttle Thursday Race results for yesterday, March 19. There were 25 cyclists at the start line for the 23.8 mile ride which was completed in 55:52 for an average of 25.1 mph. Top finishers by category were: ELITE: 1st Joshua Fuller (Santino’s); 2nd Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray D. Banner); 3rd Barney Brown (Digi).

Dean Barrow has left the front door open again!!!
Some of you may be comforted by shallow words and promises that are a comfort to a fool. I, on the other hand, know that swift and decisive action is what will make a difference in our fight against COVID-19. Therefore, while I hold on to this opinion strongly, I want to make it clear that if you are lax in your way of dealing with the situation, no need to comment, because you are okay with whatever happens to you and Belize hereafter. We are being totally reckless by relying on people to self-quarantine. This San Pedro woman clearly did not do her part, if we believe reports that she was even at a party with some 60 to 70 attendants. [By decree, only groups of 25 are allowed, so they all violated the law!]

Jerome and Jewel: lovers reconcile and become engaged!
On Jerome’s return to the capital, he had mentioned in passing by the following Monday morning that he had spoken with Jewel, and that she had sent us her love; and I had not been able to resist taking a shot in the dark and ask if he had given her the ring, a question with which I had utterly floored him. He had reacted sharply with:”What ring?” And, at what I had tried to be a knowing look, continued with, “Good Lord! Is nothing at all private in this place?” before he had walked off.

Get older docs and nurses off the front line
I saw the images of five doctors in Italy who contracted the COVID-19 and died while working on the front lines against the disease, and it occurred to me that if your age group is the one most susceptible to the disease, you shouldn’t be there. We know that doctors and nurses are heroes, but it is foolish for a hero to die unnecessarily. The situation in Italy is very difficult at this time, and a number of retired doctors are putting away their golf clubs and heading for the hospitals.

The face mask is the best line of protection against the spread of the coronavirus
Dear Editor, History repeats itself. Back when the space race had just begun, Americans were searching for a pen the astronauts could use in space. It had to be able to write upside down. They spent huge amounts of money researching this product. The Russians used a pencil. I read this in the Reader’s Digest many years ago. Similarly, the entire planet is looking for a vaccine or a treatment for COVID-19. They just allocated $8 billion U.S. for such an endeavor.

We have rough seas ahead
Dear Editor, According to the Oxford dictionary, deleveraging is the process or practice of reducing the level of one’s debt by rapidly selling one’s assets. The global debt is 257 trillion, according to an International Monetary Fund’s estimate for the end of March, 2020. Belize is the 18th most indebted country in the world, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 92%. After the coronavirus (Covid-19) passes, Jamaica and the world will have to deleverage.

LOVE FM

SSB discourages new registrations or renewal of cards
The chairman of the Social Security Board, Doug Singh explained that services provided by SSB that are not urgent will not be carried out. He says new registrations or renewal of cards are not being encouraged at this time in order to minimize the traffic at the SSB offices and to protect their workers.

BMA restricts patients with symptoms of COVID-19 at their St Thomas street clinic
The Belize Medical Associates (BMA) has announced that effective March 26 they will no longer be seeing patients with symptoms or signs of COVID-19. This includes Fever, coughing, running nose, and shortness of breath.

43-year-old Dorian Anthony killed in car accident
A road traffic incident that occurred this morning took the life of one man and injured his two passengers. 43-year-old Dorian Anthony was travelling on the George Price Highway with 57-year-old Gary Trapp and Dawn Meyers when he lost control of the vehicle around Mile 12.

Ministry of Health Rolls out phases 1, 2 and 3 of their COVID-19 action plan
Since the first detection of COVID-19, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero has indicated that phases one, two and three have been rolled out. In yesterday’s edition of Ask the Experts, Dr. Manzanero went into detail on the process of mapping and the importance for those who were on Ambergris Caye to remain there.

BEL differ bill payments for persons who are in a financial crisis
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has announced that there will be no disconnection San Pedro if persons are not able to pay their bills until the state of emergency is lifted. Today, the company held a press conference where they stated that persons across the country will also be receiving aid.

Social Security approves sickness benefits for recently unemployed
Hundreds of men and women in Belize have been laid off, terminated or sent home indefinitely over the last week. The actions by employers and business owners are the result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has reached Belize.

Belize remains with only one confirmed case of COVID-19
After confirming her as a COVID-19 patient, the Director of Health Services has indicated that the woman of San Pedro Town is recovering to the point where she no longer has any symptoms. Since the test came back positive on Sunday night, health officials have been tracing the movements of the businesswoman and have conducted interviews with her as well with the people she has been in contact with.

Several bus lines suspend services
This morning, the usual hustle and bustle at Bus Terminal in Belize City was replaced by relative calmness. Typically, the terminal would be packed with people, who would constantly have to rush through the gates to secure a seat on the bus.

Western Health Region implementing additional measures to prevent COVID-19
The management of the Western Health Region has announced that additional measures are being taken at the major hospitals in the Cayo District in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Western Regional Hospital and San Ignacio, Community Hospital patients are now being greeted by security who will direct them to different areas within the compound based on the purpose of their visit.

Diesel sees drop in fuel prices
Diesel gas will be seeing a 99 cent drop in its price effective midnight tonight. The price will be going from $9.24 to $8.25 per gallon. The prices for premium, regular, and kerosene will remain unchanged at $10.92, $10.23, and $6.62 per gallon, respectively.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Senate President Darrell Bradley to run for UDP leader
Former Mayor of Belize City and current President of the Senate Darrell Bradley has thrown […]

Blowout leads to fatal crash for North Creek resident
Police continue to investigate, but preliminary information points to a tire blowout sending a vehicle […]

Cargo vessels being allowed to dock in San Pedro
A statement released today from the Belize Port Authority (BPA) says that despite the current […]

Diesel goes down by 99 cents
The Ministry of Finance announced that on Wednesday, March 25, the pump price for diesel […]

Belize Medical Associates will not see patients showing signs of COVID-19
Today, Belize Medical Associates (BMA) announced that it will not be seeing patients exhibiting symptoms […]

Ministry of Immigration suspends services
Today the Ministry of Immigration announced that several of its services are suspended with immediate […]

Western Health region implements precautionary measures in response to Covid-19 pandemic
The management of the Western Health Region informed today that additional measures are being taken […]

US Embassy donates heavy-duty trucks to the Ministry of National Security
The United States Military Liaison Office, through the Embassy of the United States in Belize, […]

Tropic Air cargo services suspended
As companies all over the country make adjustments in light of the ongoing conoravirus (COVID-19) […]

Accident reported near mile 12 on George Price highway
An accident has been reported on the George Price Highway near mile 12. According to […]

Businesses taking the lead closing doors to reduce Covid-19 exposure and spread
Several businesses and bus lines have announced that they are closing operations until further notice […]

Ministry of Education elaborates on home-based learning initiative
The Ministry of Education (MOE) issued additional guidance to teachers and principals this week on […]

Indian publication rates how Latin American and the Caribbean are handling COVID-19 pandemic
Newsclick.in an independent media source in India, published an article this week analyzing the actions […]

Men survive attack in Cowpen village
Sometime before 5 o’clock there was a shooting in Cowpen, Stann Creek. Naun Vanegas, 57, […]

Man stabbed near Queen Street
Sometime last night a man was stabbed near Queen Street in Belize City. He has […]

Blogs

5 Best Beaches in Belize
Caribbean destinations are synonymous with beautiful white sand beaches, and while Belize has its fair share of beautiful beaches, before coming to Belize you should know that not every destination has a walk-in beach. That’s because our entire coastline is lined by the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef and the ecosystem doesn’t prevent this in all areas. You can be 100% sure to expect to see turquoise blue waters at any coastal destination you visit, but if you’re looking for a sandy beach that you can walk right into the water, here’s where you should visit:

5 Days in Western Belize
One week in Belize? Say no more. There’s so much you can experience in this amazing jewel in one week; from the exciting beach and marine adventures to wild, adrenaline rushing jungle expeditions. Here is our seven- day travel plan for you to get a sampling of what makes Belize unique. Arrive at Belize City to the Philip Goldson Int’l Airport (BZE). Depending on what time your flight gets in you may have to overnight in Belize City – no problem at all!

The 2020 Queen Conch Season will close effective on March 27th, 2020
Any person or establishment found in possession of the Queen Conch meat after this date will be charged and prosecuted in a court of law in accordance with the Fisheries Regulations. The Fisheries Department advises the public to report any illegal fisheries activity by calling telephone numbers: 224-4552 or 223-2623.

Overnighting at Lighthouse Reef in Belize
Lighthouse Reef is one of the most famous atolls in Belize. Discover why you should make it your next vacation destination. Located about 50 miles from the Belize mainland, the atolls are part of a vast, protected marine reserve that includes several bird, sea mammal and fish sanctuaries. It’s the only atoll large enough to hold a private airstrip. It’s also spectacularly scenic, with soft sand beaches, shady palms and clear blue water. It’s home to the first protected natural area in Belize. In 1928, the Belize and British governments established Half Moon Caye Monument as a way to protect endangered red-footed boobies. It is now home to the only viable breeding colony of red-footed boobies in the western Caribbean.

International Sourcesizz

5 Know-Before-You-Go Tips for Traveling Belize
If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t carry much cash in your day-to-day life. But you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of the folding stuff in your wallet during your travels in Belize. That’s because, while credit and debit cards are accepted in most places, you’ll pay a three percent fee to use them. The fee helps offset the card processing fees merchants must pay and serves to encourage the use of cash in most establishments, as that’s what Belizean merchants prefer. Over the course of your trip, that three percent can really add up if you’re using cards for everything.

Is It Over? Simone Biles Unfollowed Boyfriend Stacey Ervin, Jr. On Instagram
Could it be over between iconic gymnast Simone Biles and her beau, fellow gymnast Stacey Ervin, Jr.? We’re wondering that after noticing posts featuring both parties on their respective social media pages have been few and far between over the last few months. And while Ervin still follows Biles on social media, she no longer follows him on Instagram.