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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

Ambergris Caye’s quarantine extended to 30 days; second positive COVID-19 case related to Patient 1
San Pedro Town’s mandatory quarantine has been extended to 30 days after Belize registered its second COVID-19 (Coronavirus) case. The first case was announced on Monday, March 23rd by Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow, and on Wednesday, March 25th PM Barrow confirmed that the second positive case was the first patient’s mother. Upon the announcement of the initial quarantine on Monday around 3PM, the business sector on the island shut down, leading to the closure of restaurants, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations among others.

Rabies and Blackleg vaccination for cattle strongly recommended
Given the current spike in cases of Rabies and Blackleg in cattle in various regions of Belize, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Belize Livestock Producers Association, once again advises livestock producers to vaccinate their animals against Rabies and Blackleg. Cattle farmers are reminded that these vaccinations must be done on an annual basis.

Sugar Industry Commits to Continue 2020 Crop
With the constantly changing nature of the COVID-19 situation globally and locally, we remain vigilant to respond effectively in these challenging times. At Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. (BSI), the safety and health of our employees, customers, partners, stakeholders, and community are at the heart of all we do. We are taking every precaution to protect all stakeholders, employees and work environment to prevent its spread.

Change in the Pump Price of Fuel Effective March 25, 2020
The Ministry of Finance announces that on Wednesday, March 25th, the pump price for diesel will decrease by 99 cents from $9.24 to $ 8.25 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, regular gasoline, and kerosene will remain unchanged at $10.92, $10.23, and $6.62 per gallon, respectively.

Belize Electric Company Ltd. donates BZD$200,000 to COVID‐19 Response
Lynn Young, President, and CEO of Belize Electric Company Ltd. (“BECOL”), a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (“Fortis”), announced a BZD$200,000 contribution to the COVID‐19 Pandemic Response Initiative (“COVID‐19 Response”). Even before the first case of COVID‐19 was confirmed in Belize, the Government has been diligently preparing and ramping up the country’s health care facilities. “We have an urgent need for protective gear for our medical and support staff. This donation will go a long way in helping us to procure the necessary gear and medical supplies,” said Dr. George Gough, CEO of the Ministry of Health.

COVID-19 Measures taken by the Belize Postal Service
The 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.

Ambergris Today

State Of Emergency In San Pedro Extended To 30 Days
The second case in the country of Belize has been confirmed to be the mother of the woman confirmed with the first corona virus case, both in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Her infection is said to have come about from direct contact with her daughter. Other family members were screened and tested with negative results. PM Barrow also indicated that there were five other people tested in San Pedro, separate from the first case, and all results came back negative. Four other tests were conducted on the mainland, all proving negative results of COVID-19.

Town Council Updates On Conditions For COVID-19 State Of Emergency
In the joint press conference delivered today by the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceńo, it was confirmed that there is a second case of COVID-19 which resulted in being the mother of the first victim. In light of this information, Ambergris Caye’s state of emergency has been extended to 30 days, but may likely terminate before then. This time will allow MOH to continue with its necessary mapping investigation from the first and second victim.

Lord Michael Ashcroft To Contribute $10 Million To Help Belize Combat COVID-19
The press release reads: “COVID-19 has impacted many countries around the world and on March 23, 2020, our very own Belize confirmed its first case. Having spent the last two weeks in the country and personally witnessing its impact on the overall economy of Belize and the lives of ordinary Belizeans, Lord Michael Ashcroft has agreed to contribute BZ$10 Million to the national effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This sum will be deposited with the Belize Bank, who will be the custodian of the funds to be disperse on behalf of Lord Ashcroft.”

Various Belizean Sources

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Notice to Commercial Users and Water Boards on Rudimentary Water Systems
The public, especially those served by rudimentary water systems, is hereby reminded that these systems were designed for DOMESTIC use only. The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development is aware that there are water bottle companies connected to these systems that are using a considerable amount of water affecting the residents of the villages. The village water boards are strongly advised to immediately address this practice in order to ensure that the priority, which is the residential water consumption, is met.

BELIZE ELECTRIC COMPANY LTD. DONATES BZD $200,000 TO COVID‐19 RESPONSE
Lynn Young, President and CEO of Belize Electric Company Ltd. (“BECOL”), a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (“Fortis”), today announced a BZD$200,000 contribution to the COVID‐19 Pandemic Response Initiative (“COVID‐19 Response”).

BAY Viral Selfie Competition
The Belmopan Active Youth are having a selfie competition. Show they how you are preventing the spread of the virus, and you could win. Best of luck! Stay safe and healthy.

A huge thank you to the men and women on the force during these times!
COMPOL Chester Williams & the entire Belize Police Department continue to do their best in enforcing the measures implemented by the COVID-19 Task Force Committee. However, everyday the Officers continue to encounter some resistance, it is with this in mind that we implore upon all to work with us to keep our country COVID-19 Free.

US Embassy EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
The U.S. Embassy is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for the following position: Security Investigator (Foreign Service National Investigator) Closing date: April 8, 2020

Works at Belize Heritage Plaza and Yarborough Football Field project Suspended
The public is hereby informed that in pursuance to the Government of Belize and Ministry of Health’s recommendations concerning COVID-19, the Belize City House of Culture and Rejuvenation Project will be suspending all works at our Belize Heritage Plaza and Yarborough Football Field project sites effective, Thursday, March 26, 2020. This closure is necessary for the safety and wellbeing of our contractors and the public. It is anticipated that works will continue as soon as the all clear is given by GOB and MOH. We regret any inconveniences caused.

Help Hope Haven help our disadvantaged Islanders
If you are in a position to donate please help Hope Haven help our disadvantaged Islanders who are in need of food subsidization. Many peoples income stopped instantly or was cut back drastically. While some employers are doing their best to subsidize wages not all are able too.

Maya body painting for rituals, battles and sacrifices
Body paint and animal skin was used to effectively display status among Maya warriors. Helmets were not common to the Maya, nevertheless they utilized elaborate headdresses as protection for their heads. Below is an animated depiction of how the Maya possibly painted themselves in time for battles, rituals or sacrifices.

COVID-19 Measures Taken by the Department of Transport
The Department of Transport (DOT) continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health to address some of the challenges related to COVID-19. The Department’s main focus at this point is to maintain uninterrupted, but safe, public transportation services to all commuters countrywide until otherwise notified by the Government of Belize. The DOT in collaboration with the Transport Board and the Belizean Bus Association (BBA) hereby notifies the public of the following new measures:

Change in the Pump Price of Fuel Effective March 26, 2020
The Ministry of Finance announces that on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the pump price for kerosene will decrease by $1.19 from $6.62 to $ 5.43 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, regular gasoline and diesel will remain unchanged at $10.92, $10.23 and $8.25 per gallon, respectively.

SPTC Update on Covid-19 and Considerations for State of Emergency
In the joint press conference delivered today by the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceńo, it was confirmed that there is a second case of COVID-19 which resulted in being the mother of the first victim. In light of this information, Ambergris Caye’s state of emergency has been extended to 30 days, but may likely terminate before then. This time will allow MOH to continue with its necessary mapping investigation from the first and second victim. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro’s EOC committee on the advice from the Ministry of Health, hereby inform the general public that some considerations will be made in order to accommodate the needs of the residents in Ambergris Caye due to the 30-day extension of the state of emergency; they are as follows:

Administering First Aid in the context of COVID 19
Situation: many countries have taken quarantine measures, however people might face situations which require first aid at home or somewhere else. They have to pay particularly attention to the ageing population. Prevention: as much as possible, people should use a hydro-alcoholic/disinfectant solution and/or be closed to a place where they can wash their hands. It is important to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER providing first aid, to reduce infection transmissions. Unconscious casualty and breath checking: airway must be clear and open, the first aider tilts slightly the head and observes the chest movements, and feels the air onto his/her hand (not forgetting after using disinfectant solution or washing hands). He/she have to avoid approaching his/her face to the mouth of the victim or use ideally a bag-valve-mask.

COVID-19 Test Samples – Update No. 1
The Ministry hereby provides a report on an initial mapping exercise in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The mapping exercise allowed the Ministry to test seven persons who were the immediate contacts of the index case. One immediate contact from those individuals resulted as a positive case. The patient is stable and has no signs or symptoms as of today. All other samples are negative. To date, there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize. In addition, five other samples which were collected from two other districts all tested negative. As part of the ongoing enhanced surveillance, further tests which were collected today, March 25th, in San Pedro and other districts will be processed at the lab later today. The Ministry of Health will continue its enhanced public surveillance across the country.

Message to Nurses from the Chair of the Nursing and Midwife Council
The country is currently being challenged by the threat of COVID-19 and as nurses we are being asked to perform in ways that we never had before - to serve our patients and communities who depend on us. We all may have concerns about both the professional realities and implications of working in unfamiliar circumstances or settings. We had to reevaluate the way we provide care, and some of us may have even begun to question whether or not we should remain as frontline caregivers.

Cuban Medical Professionals Help Belize Fight COVID-19
Today, March 25th, Belize welcomed 32 members of the “Henry Reeve” International Contingent of Cuban Health Professionals who are specialised to assist in times of disaster and pandemics. The team of health professionals arrived in Belize to support the country’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. They were received by Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health; Mrs. Lizette Perez Perez, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Belize; and Lou-Anne Burns Martínez, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize. Minister Marin took the opportunity to thank President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, the medical professionals, and especially the Cuban people for supporting Belize as a part of their efforts worldwide to limit the spread and effect of the virus.

Agri-Food Response and Mitigation to COVID-19 Stakeholders Meeting
An Agri-food Response and Mitigation to COVID-19 Stakeholder Meeting was convened by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on March 24, 2020. The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Godwin Hulse chaired the session. In attendance were Hon. Jose Mai, key government partners, and private sector stakeholders of the productive sector. The objectives of the meeting were the following: 1. To verify the results of a food stock availability survey of the basic food basket commodities; 2. To identify and address specific short- and medium-term challenges to the sector arising from the global pandemic; and 3. To develop a mechanism for communication, coordination, and continuity in the face of COVID-19.

Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry COVID-19 Preventative Measures
As advised by the Ministry of Health and the Government of Belize, the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry will be limiting its services to the public until further notice. Effective immediately, the office will be open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12: 00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. only. The office will be closed to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During these hours, the following restrictions apply: • Persons must form a line to access services and maintain a distance of at least 3 feet between each other...

UPDATED BUS SCHEDULES

Business Community in Belize Sends Donation in Solidarity with Cuba
oday, March 25th, members of the business community in Belize donated more than BZ$8,000.00 worth of supplies at short notice to assist Cuba with its efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The donated items include soap powder, bar soap, bath towels, sheets, cleaners and disinfectants, and garbage bags. The supplies are being sent to Cuba with the support of TAG Airlines.

Utility Relief
BWS - 25% reduction in rates for all residential users using 3000 gallon/month for March, April and May (that is about 65% of residential users) BEL - will deal with requests for relief on a case by case basis (they pay for their supply of electricity that they don't themselves generate) BTL - discounted and free Top-Up for Pre-Paid customers, increase in bandwidth NO need to hoard or overbuy food or materials.

Ocean Ferry Schedule

MORALES TRANSPORT BUS SCHEDULE UPDATE
Hello dear customers, we have decided to have one run daily, effective immediately. We have taken the necessary action to assist those that need to get to work. This will be until further notice. Kindly subscribe to be kept informed and receive our latest updates via our Newsletter.

Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize
As the government of Belize continues to issue more directives to promote social distancing there may be instances of civil unrest. Many people, under stress, may resort to aggressive or violent behavior. Be aware of what is happening around you when in Belmopan or other areas. Grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and gas stations may be areas where the chances of people getting frustrated or desperate are particularly high. Police and military are stretched extremely thin at this time and responses to incidents may be even more delayed than usual. If you sense something is wrong, trust your instincts and immediately leave the area.

Channel 7

Second COVID Case Confirmed In Belize, It's Not Imported
Tonight, we start with the news that a second case of COVID 19 has been confirmed in Belize - and it's directly related to the first case on San Pedro. The Prime Minister gave very preliminary details at a press conference three hours ago:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "Just before I took to the podium, the Minister of Health called me to say that there is a second confirmed case but it is that the first confirmed case infected one of her family members, indeed her mother. There were other family members that were screened and sampled and tested, they all were negative and they were 5 additional persons in San Pedro tested, not related to the first case at all but who it appeared, that might have been exhibiting symptoms that warranted they be tested, all negative..."

No National Shutdown, Not Yet
So, with an in-country transmission from the first infected person to her mother, by the textbook classification, that would qualify as a stage two situation.   Today, rumours went wild that there would be an immediate national shutdown.  But, again, those were just baseless and panic inducing rumours.  The Prime Minister opened the press conference by emphatically saying that there will be no national shutdown - not yet at least: "We're not announcing a national shutdown; we're not announcing the declaration of a state of emergency. So, I want to make clear to the people of this country that it may yet come to that, if it does, we will give some notice and in any event since that is at the very least a possibility and I would go so far as to say a likelihood depending on how things evolve, I need to make clear right at the start that, if he got to that point, it would not mean that every last little thing would be locked down, there would be no need for people to rush the supermarkets, there would be no need for any run of the banks..."

Economic Czar: It's a Catastrophe
Now, many thousands who have lost their jobs in the tourism sector as a result of the global pandemic, must look to the government for assistance.   And that means the economic czars, one appointed by the Government, the other by the Leader of the opposition.   Today, government's representative said it is an economic catastrophe: "It's true to say the situation in the economy is catastrophic as is what we describe it as because it is not only the tourism sector, it is the allied sectors, everybody that contributes to tourism and that's a really large sector of the economy that we're talking out. The information that we have suggest that we're talking about upwards of 80% of the employees in the hotel sector that are losing their jobs, that's 80% of about 14 thousand people..."

Banks Give A Break
Dr. A. Joy Grant - Governor, Central Bank: "The cooperation from the banks has been a stellar and what they have agreed to do primarily is to look at the loans that will need to be refinanced. There are different approaches, one bank took the position that every loan that was performing on their books, they would give a moratorium 3 months of principal and interest and if you don't want the moratorium them it was up to you, to get in touch with the bank to say that you don't want it. The others have taken the position that you will come into the bank and negotiate with the them about what is the best thing for you..."

SSB Will Provide Benefits To the Suddenly Unemployed
And there will also be more relief for employers who have lost their revenue and employees who have lost their income.   The Chairman of the Social Security Board  outlined the measures they will take to give relief to those who have lost their jobs: "We are proposing a statutory instrument to the government and it is in the making, where we will provide an amendment to the regulations act that will set aside that exemption period for anybody who is infected by COVID 19. What does that mean? It means that if you lost your employment and this is for people who had lost their employment as result of COVID 19, meaning the absence of tourist of a result of it, individuals who work in the hotel industry who the hospitality industry or anybody else who are affected and job was compromised as a result of COVID 19..."

Special Consideration for Exposed Healthcare Workers
And while those benefits are for workers who have lost their jobs, what about those healthcare workers on the frontline who have to deal with the COVID Cases?  The Prime Minister says there will be special funds for them: "I want to make clear that those frontline persons will be taken care of fully and completely in so far as personal protective equipment is concerned. In so far as dealing first of all with the workers at the KHMH, in so far as finding separate quarters for them to live in, a part from their family homes, while they are on the front lines of the struggle..."

Self-Important Senate (Still!) Debates Budget
There was a Senate Meeting in Belmopan to follow up on last week's business in the House of Representatives, which included the passing of the budget for the next fiscal year, known as the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for 2020/2021. You'll remember that during last week Thursday's House meeting, there was no debate, which was a rare - if not unprecedented - occurrence. The ruling Government and the Opposition decided that in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has no time for political bickering on the floor of the House of Representatives. Viewers are also aware that this Bill also allowed the Barrow Government to seek parliamentary approval to get access to the first 25 million dollars in relief funds for all those Belizeans in the tourism sector who are out of a job because of the COVID-19.

Hon. Darrell Wants To Be Leader
Tomorrow is the deadline to submit names for UDP Leadership candidates, and tonight we can report that the field has widened considerably. What was already a crowded three man race, how now turned into a five man race.   President of the Senate Darrell Bradley put in his name yesterday, and, reliable reports say that three time Pickstock area representative Wilfred Elrington did so today. Assuming no one drops out - which is a big assumption - in a five man race for the majority votes from 570 delegates, the winner would only need to get the support of 115 delegates.  

Chairman Peyrefitte Gets Ready For Five Way Leadership Convention
The media also got an opportunity to speak with UDP Chairman Michael Peyrefitte after this morning's Senate Meeting. He took a few questions from the press about the interest that Darrell Bradley and Wilfred Elrington are taking in the leadership of the party. Here's what he had to say to say this afternoon about the 5 candidates who will be running to replace Party Leader of the last 22 years Dean Barrow: Michael Peyrefitte- Attorney General: "In the last 24 hours two members of the National Assembly have expressed interest in the leadership of the UDP. That's the president of the Senate Hon. Darrell Bradley and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington. And yes, they have both sent in their applications and they are the two latest ones to do so."

You Could Go To Jail For COVID Panic Rumours
But the UDP convention, originally scheduled for April 5th, has been postponed indefinitely, so that is on the backburner.   COIVD is all the news now, and as we told you in our first segment - the Prime Minister opened today's press conference refuting rumours that there would be an immediate national shutdown.   And the Government stressed today that it will no longer tolerate the spreading of these rumors which causes more fear in an already panicked society. This afternoon, Attorney General Michael Peyefitte told his colleagues in the Senate today that his office will start prosecuting individuals who are spreading these types of rumors:

City Buses Face Diminishing Returns
And one of the rumours has been that city buses may stop running - but that one is within the realm of possibility.   And what would happen if city buses stopped running? That's a question that many commuters have been asking because like most unimaginable scenarios it's quickly becoming a likelihood. This morning we headed to the headquarters of City Shuttle to speak to Owner Phillip Jones. Jones says that while business is bad in the era of COVID-19 commuters were there for him in the good times and he wants to be there for them now.  

Boots, Kicking Up Dust
And, in other news. Residents of the Port Loyola Area have been calling us saying that they have a COVID concern.  Their Area Representative Boots Martinez has been trucking in loads of clay off Faber's Road, and the dust storms raised by the dump trucks are causing sore throats and asthma attacks - an unwelcome hazard in a world preparing to fight the respiratory virus of immediate concern, COVID-19. 

Cuban Medical Bridgade Arrives
It's been 25 years of diplomatic relations between Belize and Cuba and in that time one of the island's most valued exports has been the dozens and dozens of doctors that have come to work and save lives in Belize. And today in Belize's greatest hour of need, we can all breathe a little easier because a brigade of thirty-two Cuban doctors has just arrived. They stepped onto the tarmac of the closed Philip Goldson International Airport just before 6:00 this evening, flying their country's flag, and received the warmest possible greeting from Minister of Health Pablo Marin and CEO of Foreign Affairs Annie Lou Burns.

List Flight To Canada
And, also at the airport earlier today was a special Westjet charter flight from Canada chartered to fly out 14 Canadians who were stranded on the islands. They flew out this morning from Caye Caulker - where they were lathered with hand sanitiser before they got into the plane, then flown to San Pedro, and then to the PGIA - where all the Tropic Air workers were masked.   We are told that they didn't go into the PGIA, customs and Immigration met them at the back where they were processed.

Bus Schedules Being Discussed With Regulators
The Department of Transport is reporting tonight, that they are working with the bus operators to return some normalcy to public transportation for Belizeans workers who need to commute between districts to reach their job sites. A press release note that the focus is to maintain uninterrupted but safe public transportation. The restoration of bus runs will come with some changes. The Department notes that the workaround will have to remain flexible, depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops in Belize. As a result, the availability of bus runs could change without notice. Next, public transport will be limited to seated passengers only; no standees will be allowed.

Hon. Briceno: 125M is a "Drop In the Bucket"ť For Enormous Crisis
Going back now to today's press conference, the COVID relief fund is now at 125 million dollars. Last week, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition said it was 275 thousand dollars but they have pushed that up. Even so, the Leader of the Opposition says it is just a drop in the bucket.

Briceno and Barrow Against Eviction
Briceno also addressed the issue of unlawful evictions. It's actually a part of what's behind that attempted exodus from San Pedro. People have nowhere to stay because they lost their jobs, can't pay their weekly rent, and their landlords are giving them the boot, COVID or not. It's illegal, immoral and just plain wrong. The PUP leader said he won't stand for it:

Agrifood Supplies Assessed
Earlier you heard the Prime Minister speak about the finding that Belize currently has enough food domestically to support itself.  That was the determination of "An Agri-food Response and Mitigation to COVID-19 Stakeholder Meeting" which was held yesterday. Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse chaired the session, which included the PUP's Jose Mai, key government partners, and private sector stakeholders of the productive sector. According to a release, the Food Stock Availability survey confirmed that as of March 24, 2020, Belize has sufficient available supply in storage or in the field of the basic food and feed grains to sustain the population for over six months.

National Child Curfew In Effect
Effective tonight a curfew has been put into effect for all minors. It started in Belize City last week during the declared state of emergency but it has now been put into effect countrywide. The Regulation which was signed today is cited as amendment four to the Families and children act states quote: "Every minor shall be and remain within the confines of private property during the hours of 6:00 pm at night and 6:00 am the following morning unless the minor is accompanied by a parent or guardian." 

Police Strike a Pose
Taking a cue from the KHMH medical staff, the senior command of the police department today sent their COVID-19 awareness message, by striking a pose, with a purpose.   Knelling atop Independence Hill, Commissioner Chester Williams and his top officers "We are here for you, work with us, lets make Belize COVID-19 free." A charming picture, emulating the KHMH one, and confirming that Corona is definitely Belize's least wanted international fugitive.

Finnegan Market Will Remain Open, For Now
Yesterday, when we were at the Michael Finnegan market, we heard a lot fo concerns about whether the market would be closing because of social distancing regulations.  Well, today the Belize City Council announced that the market will remain open on what it calls a day to day basis.  The council urges customers to practice social distancing and says it will try to keep crowds in the market to 25 at a time.

Channel 5

A Second Confirmed Case of COVID-19; Woman Infected Her Mother
Tonight there is a second case of the highly contagious corona virus. The second case is the mother of the thirty-eight year old resident of the San Pedrito area of [...]

State of Emergency for Ambergris Caye is Extended for 30 days
San Pedro remains under lockdown tonight as San Pedranos observe a state of emergency imposed since Monday following the announcement of the first case of the virus. Generally, the streets [...]

PM Barrow: “No National Shutdown Just Yet”
Prior to this afternoon’s press conference, there had been persistent hearsay on social media that the prime minister would be bringing into effect a countrywide lockdown in attempting to mitigate [...]

No Need to Panic Amid Coronavirus Chaos
According to PM Barrow, should a countrywide state of emergency become imminent, citizens must not panic.  In the case of such eventuality, the prime minister says that the national taskforce, [...]

Local Economy Di Tek Serious Lick
As the nation braces for a crisis provoked by the COVID 19, several measures were announced today at a press conference by the national Oversight Committee, to ease the pain [...]

$150 Bi-weekly for Laid-off Tourism Workers
Belize’s economic performance in light of the existing crisis is very poor and it will take months for the country to rebound from the doldrums of COVID-19.  Gross domestic product, [...]

PM Barrow Acknowledges $10 Million Donation by Lord Michael Ashcroft
Lord Michael Ashcroft, who has been in Belize for two weeks, made a significant announcement today as the country braces for the spread of COVID-19.  Lord Ashcroft is making a [...]

Contributions by Utility Companies
During his presentation today, PM Barrow also spoke about the contributions made by the utility companies. On Tuesday, B.E.L. said its hands are tied when it comes to cancellation of [...]

Landlords Summarily Evicting Tenants is Unlawful
The Leader of the Opposition who is the co-chair of the Oversight Committee joined the Prime Minister at a press conference this afternoon. There have been numerous reports of property-owners [...]

Despite Additional Funds, Financial Relief is Still Only a Drop in the Bucket
Government is stepping up efforts to raise public funds to aid Belizeans, and while it is now looking at an initial one hundred and twenty-five million dollars in financial relief, [...]

Kerosene Price Goes Down
With prices for crude oil dropping on the international market, kerosene prices will go down at the pump at midnight tonight.  The Ministry of Finance says the price for kerosene [...]

Is the Michael Finnegan Market Closing its Gates? Not So Says CitCo!
Reports surfaced this morning that the Michael Finnegan Market was closing down. The information online suggested that vendors were all leaving at midday because the market would be shutting down. [...]

Senate Approves 2020-2021 Budget with $25M COVID-19 Assistance Package
A Special Sitting of the Senate took place today in Belmopan for senators on both sides of the aisle to approve the General Appropriations Bill 2020-2021. When it went to [...]

Senate Debates Budget 2020-2021
Social partner senators Mark Lizarraga and Elena Smith, along with U.D.P. Senator Doctor Carla Barnett, also shared their views on certain sections of the Prime Minister’s budget. Senators are calling [...]

First Cohort of Cuban Medical Professionals Touch Down in Belize
Late this evening, a chartered flight arrived from Havana, Cuba landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport. On board was a team of Cuban medical professionals, who will be here [...]

Frontline Health Personnel to be Given Augmented Compensation Packages
Cuba has had a medical brigade deployed in Belize comprising doctors and nurses for years now. At the press conference earlier today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke about how important [...]

5 Persons, Including Wilfred Elrington, Vying for Leadership of the U.D.P.
The United Democratic Party postponed its national leadership convention amidst the COVID-19 situation that has been plaguing the world.  The deadline for applications is set for March twenty-sixth and at [...]

Darrell Bradley for U.D.P. Leader
Darrell Bradley is currently the President of the Senate. He ran as the U.D.P. standard bearer for Caribbean Shores in 2015, but was defeated by the P.U.P.’s Kareem Musa.  Bradley [...]

Tracy’s Relief Aid Comes Under P.U.P. Fire
Albert area representative Tracy Panton has come under fire from the People’s United Party after it came to their attention that relief being offered to constituents appeared to be blatant [...]

Food Security During National Emergency
The issue of food security in a case of national emergency is paramount.  While he alluded to the fact that government is doing everything in its means to ensure that [...]

Can Laid Off B.T.B. Employees Double Dip in Relief Funds?
Last week, the Belize Tourism Board laid off a majority of its employees and provided them with compensation packages that should cover the next four months.  But would they still [...]

COVID-19 Patient Isolation Unit Will Remain at K.H.M.H.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow during a press conference today confirmed to the country and frontline healthcare workers that the isolation unit will remain inside the walls of the Karl Heusner [...]

Belize Medical Associates Will Not Accept Suspected COVID-19 Patients
A private medical facility has plans not to accept COVID-19 cases. The folks at Belize Medical Associate say they cannot accommodate COVID-19 patients because the facility is not properly equipped [...]

Amandala

5 UDP candidates submitted their applications to run for leader
Five candidates submitted their applications so far to run for leader of the United Democratic Party – Hon. Omar Figueroa, Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon. John Saldivar, President of the Senate Darrell Bradley and Hon. Wilfred Elrington. The deadline for applications is Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Prime Minister: No National Shut Down; 2nd COVID-19 case confirmed
The Prime Minister at today’s COVID-19 National Oversight Committee has stated that there will not be a national shut down today. But if they must do so, based on certain triggers, that measure will be taken. There is now a second confirmed case; she is the mother of the first COVID-19 patient in San Pedro. Other family members who were tested were negative. Five additional persons in San Pedro who exhibited symptoms were tested and were all negative. Four other persons from other districts were also tested and their results were negative so apart from the two cases in San Pedro, there is no other confirmed COVID-19 case in Belize.

LOVE FM

PM says Economic Help is coming
Since the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the nation on the economic downturn that Belize would experience due to this global situation. One of the things he had committed to was to give financial aid to employees in the tourism industry that would inevitably become unemployed.

Cuban Medical Brigade arrives in Belize
Thirty-two of fifty-eight members of the Cuban Medical Brigade that was deployed to assist Belize in the fight against COVID-19 arrived today at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The team consists of not only doctors, but nurses and other medical professions

No immediate shutting down of the country
Hours prior to today’s press conference rumors circulated that the country would be shutting down and a national state of emergency would be declared. At the opening of his address this afternoon the Prime Minister made it clear that this is not the case.

PM confirms second COVID-19 case in Belize
A second person in Belize has tested positive for Covid-19. The announcement was made this afternoon by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Department of Transport Implements new preventative Measures
The Department of Transport is working closely with the Ministry of Health to address some of the challenges related to COVID-19. The Department’s main focus is to maintain uninterrupted, but safe, public transportation services to all commuters countrywide until otherwise notified by the Government of Belize.

PUP condemns UDP care packages
The People’s United Party has issued a release speaking against care packages that have been provided by certain area representatives to their constituents. According to them, Belizeans have, quote, “…reacted with disbelief and outrage at the action of certain UDP politicians who are using the tragedy, panic and desperation caused by COVID-19 to attempt to garner political mileage.”

Senators debate the budget for the fiscal year 2020/2021
Senators were in session today in Belmopan debating the budget for the fiscal year 2020/2021. The budget was passed through the House of Representatives last week with no lively debate as has been the tradition.

Lord Michael Ashcroft has pledged ten million dollars to help fight COVID-19
Lord Michael Ashcroft has pledged ten million dollars to the Government of Belize as part of the COVID-19 Response Fund. Prime Minister spoke briefly of this donation in today’s press conference.

Market vendors struggle to sell their products
This morning there were reports that the Michael Finnegan Market in Belize City was going to be closed as of midday. Upon making checks at the market our newsroom found that there was no official closure of the market; vendors were simply not opening their stalls. Reporter Naim Borges has the details.

Then there was four
While the entire nation is focused on the COVID-19 situation, business continues in various areas including politics. With the deadline approaching for applications to be submitted for the UDP leadership, the party’s Secretariat has received five applications from well-known UDP members.

Busito Operations Face Issues In Belmopan
The busito operators in Belmopan are being greatly affected by the preventative measures put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with them and highlighted the struggles they...BEL 1 821 BUSINESS, COMPANIES & ORGANIZATIONS

BEL Defers 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...

BEL defers 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.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize Electricity company donates $200,000 to national COVID-19 response
Belize Electricity Company (BECOL) a subsidiary of Fortis Inc. (Fortis”) has donated $200,000 to the […]

Cuban medical team arrives in Belize
This evening, a team of Cuban doctors arrived in Belize to help with the national response […]

Ministry of Health confirms 2nd covid-19 positive case; awaiting results of more tests
The Ministry of Health today provided a report on an initial mapping exercise in San […]

Business community in Belize donates supplies to Cuba
The business community in Belize has banded together to donate medical supplies to Cuba to […]

Dr. Barnett: $150 twice-monthly payment for those affected
Amid a grim economic outlook, Senator Dr. Carla Barnett announced that a payment of $150 […]

Banks offer plans on loans
Central Bank of Belize Governor Joy Grant says the major banks and financial institutions are […]

Ashcroft’s contribution, through Belize Bank goes to Ministry of Health
Lord Michael Ashcroft’s $10 million contribution for COVID-19 goes principally to the Ministry of Health. […]

SSB: We will cover unemployed COVID-19 patients
A Statutory Instrument being developed will ensure that persons who catch COVID-19 at least three […]

Political leaders unite despite internal controversy
Both Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Leader of the Opposition Johnny Briceno are facing internal push-back […]

New regulation bans gatherings at social establishments
While non-essential businesses are restricted, restaurants and others remain open as much as possible and will […]

Government advises against commercial use of rudimentary water systems
The public, especially those served by rudimentary water systems, is reminded that these systems were […]

Mark Lizarraga: Prepare for “confluence of life-changing storms”
Belize faces multiple storms in the coming months, of varying kinds, according to Business Community Senator, […]

Michel Chebat: Budget does not match unprecedented times
It did not take a week, says Senator Michel Chebat, for the COVID-19 crisis to […]

PUP says: No time for despicable politicking
The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a statement telling the current UDP administration […]

More training and technology, less “miscellaneous” says Senator Isabel Bennett
Senator Isabel Bennett has a problem with the word “miscellaneous,” or more specifically, how many […]

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington submits his name for UDP Party leadership
BBN has confirmed with senior UDP sources that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington […]

Lord Michael Ashcroft to contribute $10 million to Belizean effort to combat Covid-19 pandemic
A statement from the Belize Bank Limited issued today said that Lord Michael Ashcroft has […]

Opposition criticizes education, trade allocations in Budget
When no one got up quickly enough to begin this morning’s Budget Debate in the […]

Team of Cuban doctors headed to Belize today
A team of Cuban doctors is headed to Belize today, to assist with the country’s […]

Businesses in downtown Belize closing their doors
Belize’s business community continues to do its part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic […]

Senate meets on Budget amid COVID-19 pandemic
After a largely rancor-free and truncated debate in the House last week, the Senate takes its […]

Blogs

Cuban Medical Professionals assist Belize and Jamaica with Covid-19
COVID-19 will not spare any country on earth. Medical professionals are in short supply and the number of cases are rising. Cuba is quickly proving to be one of the unique countries for which the pandemic presents an opportunity for their health care professionals as they respond to the SOS for doctors to help in the battle against the severe coronavirus epidemic. Cuban doctors were among the international first responders in Wuhan to tend to the sick and assist Chinese authorities. Since then, Cuban doctors have been providing assistance to countries all over world including Spain and Italy and is now assisting its Caribbean Neighbors.

International Sourcesizz

Fresh groundwater discharge insignificant for the world’s oceans but important for coastal ecosystems
Fresh groundwater is a critical natural resource for humans and wildlife to survive. Groundwater is found several feet down earth, in cracks and soil pores, sediments and rocks. The University of Göttingen conducted the first computer model to track the flow of groundwater into the oceans. Their analysis shows mindful results on how pollutants from the land are transported into the sea. The pollutants put coastal ecosystems such as estuaries, salt marshes and coral reefs at great risk. Nature Communications Journal published an article on the first computer model to study groundwater flow.

Movie: A sea outing turns deadly in white-knuckled thriller Harpoon
In Harpoon, three friends adrift on a boat fight for survival somewhere off the U.S. East Coast. But there’s a reason North Vancouver filmmaker Rob Grant didn’t set the new thriller at home. “That was our inside joke — these people are nuts already, so let’s set it in Florida,” Grant said. They shot the interiors on a set in Calgary, where the film’s production company, 775 Media, is based, and exteriors in Belize. “We ended up renting a touring charter boat in Belize,” he said. “It came with a captain and two shipmates. We had a seaside hotel and every morning we’d have breakfast then get on the boat. It was a pretty surreal experience.”

Videos

  • Curse of the Xtabai (full movie), 1hr20min. Here is a local film you Can watch at home. Enjoy... Folklore of the evil spirit Xtabai goes back generations in Belize. There are many versions of the tale. This was inspired by stories from elders in San Antonio Village.

  • Here is a feature documentary of how we made 2012 "Curse of The Xtabai", 1hr17min. Documentary of the making of Belize first feature length film, 2012 curse of the Xitabai, all mainly all local cast and crew, directed and co-produced by late Matthew Klinck and co-produced by me.

  • Lammers Belize Trip 2020, 7min.

  • Update on COVID-19 Situation in Belize and Economic Relief Package by Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and leader of the Opposition Hon. John Briceno, min.

  • Cuban Medical Brigade arrival, 2min. Thirty-two of fifty-eight members of the Cuban Medical Brigade that was deployed to assist Belize in the fight against COVID-19 arrived today at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The team consists of not only doctors, but nurses and other medical professions. So far, Belize has only confirmed two cases, while Cuba has 48. Despite this, the medical brigade has gone above and beyond to extend their assistance to Belize.

  • BEL discusses COVID-19 Plan with the local media, 34min.

  • The Blue Hole in Belize FLYOVER, 3min. The Blue Hole in Belize is Discovery Channel's #1 in its "Ten Most Amazing Places on Earth" list. A World Heritage Site, it is popular among seadivers and adventurers alike.

  • BELIZE- JAGUAR PAW CAVE TUBING, 12min.

  • Belize | Travel to Serve, 18min. Through the University of Louisville's International Service Learning Program, I was able to work alongside communication, criminal justice, and nursing students in the small town of Independence, Belize. .

  • U Janal Pixano'ob (Finados), 15min. A celebration between the Yucatec Maya people of Belize explained by Nojoch Máak Roy Rodriguez member To'one Masehualo'on NGO .