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Today's Belize News: April 9, 2020 #541571
04/09/20 05:54 AM
04/09/20 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,806
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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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

Cayo District is on lockdown; GOB releases official Statutory Instrument
After two new cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) were reported from San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District, on Monday, April 6th, Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow declared the entire district under quarantine. Two days later, a Statutory Instrument (SI) dubbed No. 52 of 2020 was released with detailed regulations to the locking down of Belize’s largest district.

GOB clarifies “movement at sea and waterways” during National State of Emergency
The Ministry of National Security clarifies the movement of persons traveling at sea, rivers, lagoons and waterways within the country of Belize. Statutory Instrument No. 46 of 2020, along with its subsequent amendments, categorizes those travelling conditions as emergency cases and essential needs only. Commercial fishers are fishers with a valid fisher’s license which they must be able to produce when encountered by the authorities.

Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund donates $100K to Ambergris Caye Families
On Tuesday, April 7, Hope Haven Children’s Home and Community Center, located on Ambergris Caye, received a donation of $100,000 from the Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund. The donation was provided to assist families in need of assistance during the pandemic crisis, and to assist with supplementing grocery donations to these families. Bringing the total amount of cash donations for relief in Belize to over $10,000,000BZD, Lord Ashcroft has proven that his loyalty to Belize and its people sit at a prioritized level of concern during this time of crisis.

Ambergris Today

COVID-19 Patient #8 Ramsley Gillett Issues Public Statement
Corozal resident and Belize’s COVID-19 patient #8, Mr. Ramsley Gillett, has issued a public statement through his sister’s Facebook profile. He shares his situation with the nation and urges Belizeans to support his family and follow the advice of the authorities, stay at home and practice social distancing. Below is his statement delivered by his sister Krishna Gillett:

Eighth Case Of COVID-19 Confirmed In Corozal District
A further 31 samples, which included primary contacts of patients #6 and #7, were tested on April 7th, for COVID-19. Out of those, the Ministry has confirmed another positive case. The patient is a 50-year-old male who is currently in the isolation area of the Corozal Community Hospital. The patient was referred from the private sector and has been hospitalized since yesterday. A mapping exercise has started for this patient and further details will be provided later on in the day.

Lord Ashcroft Donates $100K To Ambergris Caye Families Via Hope Haven
On Tuesday, April 7, Hope Haven Children’s Home and Community Center, located on Ambergris Caye, received a donation of $100,000 from the Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund. The donation was provided to assist families in need of assistance during the pandemic crisis, and to assist with supplementing grocery donations to these families. Bringing the total amount of cash donations for relief in Belize to over $10,000,000BZD, Lord Ashcroft has proven that his loyalty to Belize and its people sit at a prioritized level of concern during this time of crisis.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Kindly click the link below to access Statutory Instrument No. 52 of 2020 which took effect on April 7, 2020

The public is hereby reminded that the following Government entities are closed to the public until further notice

The public is hereby reminded that the following Government entities are closed to the public until further notice
1. Office of the Prime Minister, including the Government Press Office 2. Attorney General’s Ministry, including the Vital Statistics Unit, Belize Intellectual Property Office (Belipo), and Companies and Corporate Registry 3. Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation 4. Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation CAYO OFFICE 5. Office of the Ombudsman...

Eighth Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Corozal
A further 31 samples, which included primary contacts of patients #6 and #7, were tested on April 7th, for COVID-19. Out of those, the Ministry has confirmed another positive case. The patient is a 50-year-old male who is currently in the isolation area of the Corozal Community Hospital. The patient was referred from the private sector and has been hospitalized since yesterday. A mapping exercise has started for this patient and further details will be provided later on in the day.

Public Notice: Belmopan City Council Closure
In alignment with the stipulations of Statutory Instrument Number 52 of 2020, and in particular Regulation 8.-(1)(h) which dictates the closure of offices listed in Schedule 2 situated in the Cayo District for a period of fourteen days, the Belmopan City Council regrets to inform the general public that the business hours announced for Thursday, April 9th no longer apply. A determination on whether the Council will resume operations, even on a limited basis, will be made at the end of the aforementioned two week period.

Two Month Extension for Contribution Payments
Notice from the Belize Social Security Board: Effective immediately, SSB has extended the deadline for all Contribution Payments for the months of March and April 2020. • Employers are required to submit their monthly Contribution Statement (FIN15A) for these months via our Online Portal at www.socialsecurity.org.bz. Self-Employed Persons can submit their monthly Contributions Certificate (SE-FIN15A) electronically to info@socialsecurity.org.bz.

No InterDistricet, City, Town, or Village Movement
The latest S.I. states no one is to move inter district, city, town or village. This is NOW law. If any community members see someone new on the island, please call the police or nurse immediately as they will be dealt to the fullest extent of the law of Belize. As community members, we have an obligation to keep OUR community safe

BEL does not train or certify electricians
Beware of false representations

Be sure and say thanks to all those on the front line
A Statement from the Special Envoy for Women & Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, on being thankful and grateful for our Frontline Workers. Many of our Frontline Workers are safeguarding the nation during this COVID-19 crisis. They are providing vital services to all in our country, not only making sure that we are prepared for COVID-19 but also ensuring that we are receiving the necessary care, services, and treatment nationwide.

UB Job opportunities
The University of Belize is looking for some deans.

Free Caribbean Films
Here is the link to access the free Caribbean Films being shared with us this week by our friends over at the Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival.

Movement at Sea and Waterways
The Ministry of National Security clarifies the movement of persons traveling at sea, rivers, lagoons and waterways within the country of Belize. Statutory Instrument No. 46 of 2020, along with its subsequent amendments, categorizes those travelling conditions as emergency cases and essential needs only. Commercial fishers are fishers with a valid fisher’s license which they must be able to produce when encountered by the authorities. The SI further defines the essential services relating to riverine and maritime activities as follows:

U.S. CITIZENS INTERESTED IN RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES
Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize (08-APR-2020) Event: We have a confirmed flight departing Belize. United Airlines Flight UA3024 departing Belize City on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm (noon) and arriving in Houston, TX at 15:28 pm. United Airlines is providing a repatriation flight for U.S. citizens and family members departing Belize City. If you would like to depart on this flight, please make a reservation directly with United Airlines at www.United.com for information or to change a prior United reservation send an email to unitedbelizesales@united.com or WhatsApp message to +501 614-2613. Please note that flights are subject to change.

CONTROLLED PRICES FOR LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS
The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, through the Supplies Control Unit (SCU) of the Belize Bureau of Standards, has been made aware of a press release dated April 8, 2020, as issued by Belize Western Energy Ltd., Gas Tomza Ltd. and Zeta Gas (Southern Choice). Based on the fact that the matters contained therein are currently live before a court of law, the Government and the Ministry responsible for Supplies Control will refrain from publicly engaging on any of the issues which touch and concern those live claims until the determination of those matters.

Ministry of Health Condemns Sexual Violation of Vulnerable Persons
It has come to the attention of the Mental Health Unit in the Ministry of Health that a perverted video is being circulated on social media in which persons are being instructed to perform sexual acts by unidentified persons. The Unit is aware that at least one of the victims suffers from a severe mental disorder. The Ministry of Health is appalled at this assault on human dignity and is dismayed that these persons felt comfortable enough to record and share this video. The Ministry calls on all human rights actors to denounce this violation of the rights and dignity of mentally disabled persons and to strongly advocate for the most severe punishment to be levied against these violators by the appropriate authorities.

Forest Department Urges Public to Cease Burning During Fire Season
The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, through the Forest Department, hereby reminds the public that it is the middle of the fire season, which is observed from February 15th to June 15th annually. The dry season is a dangerous time to be lighting fires. The risk of wildfires is high during the dry season and wildfires can lead to severe smoke pollution that poses environmental and health concerns, as well as destruction of property and natural habitat. On April 4, 2020, the Forest Department observed as much as 73 fires in just one day.

Belmopan Market Day Hours
BELMOPAN CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC NOTICE: The general public is advised that Belmopan's Market Day will be staged between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., tomorrow, Thursday April 9, 2020 at the National Agriculture Trade Showgrounds under the joint management of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Belmopan City Council. Patrons are asked to kindly ensure to adhere to social distancing and hygienic protocols as advised by Health Officials both in queue as well as once inside the compound. Kindly refrain from congregating in groups and please attempt to be as expeditious as possible in obtaining your produce and exiting the area.

Virtual Town Hall for U.S. citizens in Belize on Facebook Friday
U.S. Embassy Belize Virtual Town Hall: U.S. Embassy Belmopan will be host a Virtual Town Hall for U.S. citizens in Belize on Facebook Live on Friday, April 10 at 2:00 PM. We will answer questions about U.S. citizen flight repatriation options, health and safety, immigration concerns, and available services for U.S. citizens. Come with your own questions to the Facebook chat as well! Submit questions in advance in the comments below or by sending a message to our Facebook page. See you on Friday at 2:00pm!

FLIGHT TO US TUESDAY 14 APRIL
We are pleased to advise you that a United Airlines flight will be departing Belize for Houston in the USA on Tuesday 14 April. From there you will be able to transit for flights going back to the UK. We would recommend in the strongest terms that, if you want to get back to family and friends in the UK at this difficult time, you take this flight. We have no idea if the opportunity will arise again. Flight Details: United Airlines from Belize to Houston. Flight No: UA 3024. Date: Tuesday 14 April. Time ETD: 12:00. Please note the flights are subject to change.

Fire in Corozal
Earlier this afternoon, a small wooden bungalow house structure at Finca Solana in Corozal, caught on fire due to a neighborhood bush fire. The bush Fire was left unattended and it spread threw the yard and into the wooden bungalow house structure. Lucky, no one was injured at this neighborhood bush fire. Two dogs was managed to be saved at the scene.

Post Office Closed
The Belize Postal Service hereby informs its customers that in an effort to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, it has temporarily suspended the delivery of Postal Services at all post offices. The Belize Postal Service will however, facilitate customers who may wish to pick-up a Registered Mail, a Package or Parcel containing medications, or those who may wish to encash a Postal Money Order. Customers will be facilitated between the hours of 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 MD Monday to Friday.

Corozal Police Officers Receive Food Donation from Commmunity
Compassion and love goes a long way. Today, our Corozal Daily Blog and our Rainbow Park Neighbourhood Watch Group dropped off 25 plates of food to our Corozal Police Officers on their day shift. Officer Nessie McNeil was there to receive our small token. Please note that our Corozal Police Officers are on the frontline, battling COVID-19 while we are asked to stay home and be safe. If anyone or any group is interested in donating plates of food or water to our officers, please call the Corozal Police Department at 402-0022 to make arrangements. They will wholeheartedly appreciate it.

The U.S. Embassy is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for the following position: Security Investigator
(Foreign Service National Investigator) EXTENDED CLOSING DATE: April 20, 2020 To view and apply for this vacancy announcement, please visit the ERA site. Note: If you previously applied for this position you need not re-apply as your application will be considered.

Channel 7

Belize Turned Down COVID-19 Test Kits?
"Test, test, test" - that's what all the experts say is the key to stopping or slowing COVID 19. And, compared to countries that are having success against the virus, Belize isn't testing nearly enough of the population. But, tonight 7News has learned that sometime after March 12, Belize turned down the donation of as many as 25,000 testing kits from South Korea. A leaked SICA memo says quote, "The tests are 99% accurate and are compatible with those used by all SICA member countries, with the exception of Belize, which is why they declined the donation. The tests are on their way to Honduras to be distributed equitably among SICA member countries."

Breaking The Corona Stigma: Patient 6 Speaks
Tonight, finally two of Belize's COIVD-19 patients are breaking the stigma wrongly associated with contracting the virus. Nigel Espat and Ramsley Gillett are patients #6 and #8. Tonight they are each speaking out in their own way to share their experience of the symptoms with Belizeans, and to say it's an opportunistic virus, and not anything to be ashamed about. We spoke to Espat via phone at his home in Cayo where he told Cherisse Halsall that he's doing well, all things considered:

Patient 8 Emerges,
And while Espat is discouraging the spreading of rumours, so is Patient 8. He's Ramsley Gillett, a 50 year old Lands Inspector at the Minister of Natural Resources in Belmopan. He lives and works in Corozal with a wife and two children and he is now in the isolation area of the Corozal Community Hospital. Via his sister page, he put up a compelling personal statement on Facebook this afternoon. It says, quote, "It is my belief that I contracted the coronavirus while regularly engaged in my duties as a public servant.

DHS: Patient 8 Is Immuno-Compromised w/ Diabetes
In a very measured statement, Gillett makes it clear that his interaction with the public health system has been less than optimal. Reports to us suggest that he was not tested until he exhibited serious symptoms. That is notable, but today the Director of Health Services did not comment on his experience because the statement was posted just as this afternoon's "Ask the Experts" session was about to start. Dr Manzanero did, however, speak at length about his present condition in the hospital - including the fact that he has diabetes:

Community Spread, Yet?
So now, with cases 7 and 8 - both not linked directly to any imported case - can we finally pronounce that there is community spread of CVOID 19 in Belize? That's what we asked Manzanero today, but he didn't seem quite ready to make that concession: "We can now say clearly and definitively we have community, clearly and definitively is a strong words, it seems to indicate so and the mapping exercise we will complete with patient number 8 would guide us to that because it's not also how they became ill, the potential of them having infected others, who are the asymptomatic carries that have sought or will never seek medical attention. I think that is something our mapping exercise today for patient number 8 will be to see."

Encouraging Returns From Contact Tracing For Patients 6 & 7
And the mapping exercise for patients #6 and #7 has been encouraging so far. A total of 31 samples of their primary contacts have come back negative for COVID-19.

The Grim Realities of COVID Infection
And while those family members are negative, but remain under quarantine, the terrible reality is that the relatives of patient 7 - who is hospitalised at the KHMH - cannot visit their loved ones in the isolation ward. That is because, first, they are under quarantine and, second, because the highly infectious nature of COVID 19 makes it so that - all over the world - those who are infected cannot have visitors. More than that, there is a strict and unforgiving protocol for dealing with those who die from COVID-19, Manzanero discussed this difficult subject today:

COVID Patients Not Perpetrators
Indeed, COVID 19 has remapped all our realties, and many of us find ourselves cooped up with stress, paranoia, and fear. But as Manzanero pointed out today, it only makes their work harder when we turn a virus - which can infect anyone - into a badge of shame, treating a patient like a perpetrator. Well, that's not how it works; and as you heard, two COVID-19 patients are speaking up to end that stigma. Manzanero did the same today:

Compol Comes Down On Cops Who Coerced Sex Act
Tonight, we return to a story that is not suitable for kids. So, if they are watching, either excuse them from the room or change the channel. Last night, we showed you a very blurred version of three police officers coercing two individuals into performing a sexual act. It's evidence that only exists because it was filmed and shared by the perpetrators. And on Monday night when the vile video started making the Whatsapp rounds it was brought to the attention of Commissioner of Police Chester Williams.

COMPOL Says Victims Were Of Sound Mind
But there was even more alarm over the act of recorded sexual coercion when it was alleged that at least one of the victims suffers from a mental disorder. That's a characterisation that Commissioner Williams has outrightly disputed, here's what he said today about the mental capacity of both victims:

Compol Clashes With Mrs. Barrow On Comparison
Williams also outrightly rejected any similarities drawn between the act of sexual coercion and the week's other major incident of public police misconduct. That one happened in San Martin where an elderly man was badly beaten by police. But, Williams said that the act of sexual depravity could never be put under the same heading as the incident in San Martin.

Waiting For San Martin Complaints
And it seems that Williams can't catch a break because the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Barrow in a press release this evening lumped both incidents together calling them incidences of police brutality against women and elderly persons. Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow called for the elimination of all acts of violence at this trying time, claiming that they only serve to quote: "inflict bouts of fear and mistrust."

SOE Arrests To Decline
And while that man received a beatdown for breaking curfew, almost 500 others will pay a massive fine. But Williams is optimistic that with such an expensive deterrent, arrests will start to decline. "We had 59 arrests over the course of the 24 hours so we'll be just about 500 but we're seeing a decline now in the number of arrests. I think last yesterday was 70 something and today is 59 so the arrests are going down. I hope that it is an indication that fewer and fewer persons are now on the street

Curfew Now Effectively Rolled Back
Fewer people on the streets is the ultimate goal in the battle to stop the spread of COVID-19. And to accomplish that goal, the State of Emergency's most recent statutory instrument limited the opening hours of grocery stores and effectively eliminated the only excuse to leave home.

Exercise Allowed, Mornings Only
And essential workers are not the working out. That's right, the Commissioner says you cannot even exercise after 4:00 pm! Now outdoor exercise was permitted under the State of Emergency last week, but the Commissioner says it is only for those who exercise in the morning:

COMPOL's Curfew Proposal Shot Down
And if Commissioner Williams had it his way, even those caught exercising after 4:00 would be sent straight to jail! That's right, jail. Over the weekend on Facebook Commissioner Chester made a public proposal to the Prime Minister, and an open threat to curfew violators that they should be sent straight to Hattieville - just like the 100 + alleged gangsters who are locked up. Today he told us that that the proposals which he floated publicly, was shot down:

LPG Importers On the Offensive
2 Days ago, we told you how the 3 Central American Butane Importers filed for an injunction against the Government in the courtroom of the new Acting Chief Justice, Michelle Arana. The 3 importers, Gas Tomza Limited, Southern Choice Butane, and Belize Western Energy Limited, say that the government threatened to take action against them for simply wanting to lower the prices of their butane to give Belizeans a small break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Gas Company Ready
The National Gas Company, which is the public/private entity that will take over the importation of butane from those Central American Importers, is also speaking up in this wide open dispute. They aren't weighing in on the dispute between Government and the Central American importers. National Gas Company is instead assuring the public that they will continue their preparations to become Belize's only importer of butane.

Guat Fugitive Expelled To Face Murder Charge
7News has learned that a Guatemalan fugitive, who was wanted in his home country for the crime of murder, was caught in Belize and was today returned to his country to face charges. He has been identified to us as Walter Jerome Rosales Garcia, and we are told he was caught several days ago in the Stann Creek District.

Free Zone, Smugglers On The Move? No Says CEO
The Corozal Free Zone has been ordered shut during the national state of emergency, but reports reaching our newsroom is that it is still being used to smuggle goods across the Rio Hondo to Mexico. This is because a large part of what comes out of the zone does so through means of informal trade - in other words, it goes through the back.

Public Officers Mid Month Pay Delayed
Public servants will not be paid until after easter. It's an unprecedented 6-day salary delay and one that Financial Secretary Joseph Waight says only became necessary quote: "As the economy grounded to a halt, and revenues dried up." The salaries which had been set to be paid today, April 8th for the 15th pay period will not be paid until April 14th.

NICH Helping Health
As you probably know by now, the Ministry of Health has a hotline set up to take calls from the public during this COVID-19 crisis. They have advised persons not to show up to the hospital if they suspect that they may be infected with the coronavirus. That can cause those patients to put other Belizeans at risk of contamination. Instead, the Ministry wants them to call the hotline and seek advice on how best to address the situation.

The Borders to A Homecoming
If you've ever returned to Belize via Cancun you'll know the feeling of relief experienced at the sight of the welcome to Belize signs as you cross the Rio Hondo. But if you were to try to come back right now you wouldn't be welcome, because as of Sunday, April 5th Belize's borders were closed, even to nationals. And in the second part of Cherisse Halsall's chat with three Belizean students abroad she asked them how it felt to hear that, at least for now, they can't come home:

The Warpspeed "Wop"
And turning now to much lighter news - we have to laugh after what may otherwise might make us cry. The Belize we are all living in today seems to many of us like it's out of some dystopian novel. Indeed, if we had told you one month ago that in Holy Week, you'd have to be locked up in your house by 4:00 pm or face arrest, you would have laughed. But, such are the times we are living in - and dying by with COVID 19.

Fear No More
And Finally tonight, a faint glimmer of hope from the City that became global ground zero of the Coronavirus has ended its lockdown after 11 weeks. Just after midnight on Wednesday, March 8th, the City's 11 million residents were told that they are finally free to travel in and out of the City.

Statement from Patient #8, Ramsley Gillett
“As the latest person to contract the COVID-19 virus in Belize, I want to share my situation with the nation. I am Ramsley Gillett, a 50-year-old Belizean working as a Land Inspector with the Ministry of Natural Resources. I am a resident of Corozal, where my wife, two children and I reside. It is my belief that I contracted the coronavirus while regularly engaged in my duties as a public servant. I have decided to make this public declaration with the hope of ending the stigma and discrimination that I’ve seen displayed against other COVID-19 patients and their families.

Channel 5

Belize Refuses Donation of Testing Kits from the Republic of Korea to the Region
There is a most worrisome report coming out of the region tonight. Heads of Government of SICA met in March and adopted a Regional Contingency Plan to combat the novel [...]

Belize Running Low on Viral Swabs
There will be an increase in sampling and testing countrywide especially in the Cayo and Corozal Districts for the COVID-19 virus. However, supplies such as swabs to collect samples are [...]

COVID-19 Patient 8 is Lands Inspector Ramsley Gillett from Corozal
There is a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Corozal District.  The patient is Ramsey Gillett, a brave public officer who works at the Lands Department in Corozal Town [...]

Dr. Manzanero Says Patients 6, 7 Stable
Mapping and testing of other persons infected by the virus continues by the Ministry of Health.  On ‘Ask the Experts’ today, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero provided an [...]

Evidence Points to a Community Spread
There are now a total of eight Belizeans who tested positive for the virus. And it is expected that the number will increase in the days to come. While the [...]

Three Policemen Detained for Sexual Coercion
Turning to a despicable sex video in circulation; three officers, including a corporal, have been identified as the policemen behind the most appalling act of sexual coercion that was recorded [...]

Senior Expert Investigating Despicable Incident
According to ComPol Williams, the despicable act perpetrated by the officers undermines the work of the police department, as well as the individual efforts of their colleagues in shaping the [...]

Corporal’s Resignation to be Rescinded, He Still Faces Disciplinary Action
The officers involved have been identified as a corporal and two police constables.  Notwithstanding the tendering of his resignation a week or so ago, ComPol Williams will be withdrawing that [...]

MOH Says it is Appalled at the Assault on Human Dignity
The Ministry of Health has also weighed in on the issue, saying that its Mental Health Unit recognizes one of the victims as a person with a severe mental disorder. [...]

Patient Four Infected Patient Six
Patient six is San Ignacio businessman, Nigel Espat, who says he is recovering from the deadly virus. Espat spoke to News Five on Tuesday evening and this morning, he described [...]

Patient 6: “It’s Not a Death Sentence”
Nigel Espat is expected to be re-tested early next week to determine if his body has been able to dispose of the virus. He will be re-tested twice according to [...]

M.O.H. Address (Some) Concerns Raise by Nurses Association
Tensions are decreasing between the Nurses Association of Belize and the Ministry of Health.  Both parties met today to discuss concerns brought up by the association related to the equipment [...]

‘Flimsy’ Tents Replaced with Wooden Structures
According to Darrell Spencer, communication between both parties will continue in the days ahead. As for the flimsy tents used for the COVID-19 areas in hospital countrywide, Spencer says that [...]

A Delay in Salaries for Public Officers
There is news tonight which public officers will not be happy about and that is because those members expecting salaries today, for the April fifteenth pay period, are not getting [...]

Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund Donates 100K to Hope Haven in San Pedro
The Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund has made another donation; this time, it is befitting Hope Haven Children’s Home and Community Center located on Ambergris Caye.  The donation is in [...]

G.O.B. Threatens LPG Importers Over Emergency Discounts To Belizeans During COVID-19 Crisis
G.O.B. and the LPG importers are sparring again. Three of the six liquefied petroleum gas companies in Belize—namely Belize Western Energy Limited, Gas Tomza, and Southern Choice Butane (Zeta Gas)—are [...]

Attorney Audrey Matura Says it is A Scheme to Protect Government’s Interest in National Gas Company
The Bureau of Standards regulates the retail price of butane, but not the wholesale price; it is the importers and wholesalers who control that. World oil prices have been plummeting [...]

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of LPG Importers Against G.O.B.
Two lawsuits have been filed in respect of the matter in which the importers are seeking judicial review of S.I. fifty-seven of 2019 and a constitutional challenge against the government. [...]

The Number of S.O.E. Arrests Dwindles
On Tuesday night, Cayo District which has reported three cases of COVID-19 went under an additional lockdown. The police continue to do their rounds in other parts of the country [...]

Virtual Court Appearance for S.O.E. Offenders
The Kolbe Foundation recently introduced a system where inmates can make virtual court appearances from the Belize Central Prison.  It’s a system that is also being considered by the Belize [...]

Vicious Beat Down of Elderly San Martin Resident Still Under Investigation
The vicious beating of seventy-seven-year-old Alejandro Chavez, as well as another resident of the San Martin community in Belmopan, at the hands of police officers, remains under investigation.  While both [...]

Face Shields for Frontline Workers – a Generous Donation!
All non-essential establishments are closed and that includes businesses that sell stationery items. Although the Stationery House Retail Outlet on Slaughterhouse Road in Belize City is closed for Belize City [...]

What Do We Do With Deceased COVID-19 Patients?
The body of fifty-five-year-old Hubert Pipersburgh, the first casualty of COVID-19 in Belize, was reportedly cremated on Monday night.  The disposal of the remains of patients who succumb to complications [...]

Moses Sulph Says Total, 24hr Lockdown Should be Mandatory
Social activist Moses Sulph is weighing on the state of emergency and how it adversely affects the entire population of Belizeans who are living below the poverty line.  While there [...]

Another Drought on the Horizon!
Is another drought on our horizon? That’s what’s it shaping up to be – according to the National Meteorological Service’s seasonal rainfall forecast for April to September. That forecast shows [...]


Re: Today's Belize News: April 9, 2020 [Re: Marty] #541572
04/09/20 05:54 AM
04/09/20 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,806
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Amandala

Belize’s first coronavirus death: Hubert Pipersburgh
The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world, with more than 1.2 million persons being infected worldwide and over 70,000 having died from the virus, as of today, Monday, April 6. The novel coronavirus was imported into Belize, which had been free of the virus prior to March 23, when the government announced that a 38-year-old woman had tested positive. Since then, three other cases have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health, with Patient #4 being announced on Friday, April 3.

Two more men from Cayo test positive for COVID-19
Less than 24 hours after San Ignacio resident Hubert Pipersburgh died from COVID-19, government announced this morning that two other men from San Ignacio have tested positive for the coronavirus. The Ministry of Health said in its press release that it has “scaled up testing for COVID-19 and a further 26 samples were tested on Sunday, April 5.” The press release went on to say that one of the two men who tested positive was “a contact of Patient #4 [the Ministry’s reference to the deceased Pipersburgh].”

3 COVID-19 cases in Cayo lead to lockdown
The National Oversight Committee met for most of today and, following the meeting, Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow took to the airwaves in a live broadcast to announce that the entire Cayo District was being placed under lockdown, and government will increase random testing for COVID-19. The new quarantine measures that government announced for the Cayo District were introduced after the first COVID-19 death occurred in the country yesterday, Sunday.

Holy Saturday without Cross Country
Easter weekend is near, but like in 1932 when the September 1931 hurricane caused a cancellation of the subsequent Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, once again a generation of Belizeans is about to experience a Holy Saturday without Cross Country, thanks to the untimely intervention of the dreaded Covid-19 coronavirus, which claimed its first victim inside the Jewel yesterday. (Our sincere condolences to the family of brother Hubert Pipersburgh.)

78-year-old man beaten by police in Belmopan
Francisco Chavez, 78, a resident of Uruguay Street, San Martin, Belmopan, has been released from the Western Regional Hospital after he was beaten (and allegedly shot) by police who went to his house to arrest some men who had violated the curfew at about 9:00 Friday night. During the incident, shots were fired, and three men were beaten and arrested.

PM Barrow addresses the nation after 1st COVID-19 fatality
Following the very unsettling news of Belize’s first recorded death due to COVID-19 on Sunday, April 5, and two more confirmed cases in the Cayo District, Prime Minister Dean Barrow issued an urgent message to the public live on Monday evening. He began by addressing the allegations of negligence aimed at the Department of Health Services by the spouse of Hubert Pipersburgh, the fourth COVID-19 victim who passed away due to respiratory complications.

Mayor Bernard Wagner and various CitCo members of staff tested negative for COVID-19
Belize City mayor, Bernard Wagner and various members of the staff of the Belize City Council all tested negative for the coronavirus, said a press release that the City Council issued yesterday, Sunday. The tests that were done on Mayor Wagner and those staff members were carried out on Friday and Saturday, and well into Sunday and Monday.

Compol Williams will recommend prison time for curfew violators
One component of the national state of emergency that came into effect at midnight on Wednesday, April 1, is a curfew to ensure that Belizeans remain indoors. The curfew hours run from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. and this will remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency. At the onset of the curfew, sirens sounded across Belize City to announce that the curfew hour had arrived and citizens must remain inside their homes.

Ismael Jacobs executed at home
Ismael Jacobs, 27, a laborer of Indianville, Punta Gorda, was at his home, a one-flat elevated timber house, at about 7:30 last night along with other members of his family, when an armed gunman barged through the front door. The gunman, who was wearing a mask, fired multiple times at Jacobs, who was hit in the head and chest, while his other family members scrambled for cover. The gunman then escaped from the house as easily as he entered.

National Met Service says drought likely for 2020 “rainy” season
The National Meteorological Service (NMS) issued a release today warning that “the seasonal rainfall forecast for April to September 2020 is showing a probability of drier than usual conditions across much of the country.” The driest conditions are expected over northern and central areas, while rainfall over the Stann Creek and Toledo district is expected to be normal to slightly below normal.

Editorial: The battle for our health
The discovery of four COVID-19 cases since the state of emergency was called on April 1, and the subsequent death of one of those infected persons, is a major setback. The authorities were hopeful that the measures they had put in place had stopped the disease in its tracks, but they were not surprised when these new cases were discovered. Fighting a virus is no easy thing. It takes only one person to be missed when health personnel are doing the mapping of contacts of an individual who is infected with the disease, or one infected person entering the country and not following the disease prevention measures, for the disease to spread.

44,000 signed up for COVID-19 government unemployment benefits
GOB’s unemployment relief program was rolled out on Friday via an online portal, which became so heavily congested with online traffic that the site went down within its first day of operation. It was restored by the following day, however, and continued to see increased activity. It was determined that within a matter of one weekend, about 44,000 Belizeans and counting had already submitted applications to receive the monthly $300 from the government as of Monday, April 6. Those 44,000 persons are residents living across the entire country, with the majority hailing from Belize City.

Easter 2020 declared National Days of Prayer
The Easter week has this year been declared National Days of Prayers in view of the ravaging effects of the deadly COVID-19 virus that is causing death and havoc globally. A curfew and a State of Emergency have been enacted to combat the spread of the deadly disease, and in light of the dire circumstances, the nation is urged to pray.

Investigation into Hubert Pipersburgh’s COVID-19 death has begun
The government of Belize has responded to a Facebook post by the wife of the late Mr. Hubert Pipersburgh, in which she recounts her experience while seeking care for her husband. The release says that “all complaints and criticisms regarding COVID-19 in Belize are taken very seriously. Especially concerning is the experience Mr. Pipersburgh’s family recounts …Ms. Recinos’ report and any information that can assist in ensuring that Belize’s response demonstrates respect and care for citizens are welcome and appreciated.

Prison takes measures to protect from COVID-19
The Belize Central Prison in Hattieville, which has about 1,100 inmates in close proximity with each other, has a high chance of the inmates catching and spreading the dreaded COVID-19 disease, if it should come into the institution. The prison, therefore, has taken a proactive approach to the problem. Virjilio Murillo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kolbe Foundation/ Belize Central Prison, said that the prison has implemented measures and a partial lockdown to combat the dreaded disease, and it is confident that the prison is COVID-19 free.

COVID-19 cancels Easter travel
The Easter holidays are the time of the year when Belizeans become tourists in our own country. Customarily, as soon as the annual Cross Country Cycling Race is finished, those who have not yet left the city usually do so. This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only shut down Belize with a state of emergency which came into effect on April 1, but it has shut down the entire world, as hundreds of millions of people are forced to remain in their homes in the fight against the spread of the virus.

How could we forget!? Notable ballers of the past
It is a work in progress, indeed; and our preliminary list last Friday was shockingly deficient, as “the ink was hardly dry” before some other giant names came to mind. And, predictably, we received a complaint from a fan in Cayo about our omission of a few top players of the 60s and 70s, namely Timmy Bedran, Arturo “Turo” Azueta and Jorge Vargas of Avengers, as well as one “Barrelito” of Chitos. (Thanks, Eduardo Luna.) And we have quite a few others to add.

Life interrupted as COVID-19 dominates, and we are not prepared!
“What if Dr. Manzanero had conceded for a test to be done on him on Friday the 27th? Maybe he would have received treatment and would be safe. How can he make such a decision when someone has the majority of the symptoms. Just because he had not been in touch with other patients? Because he had not travelled recently? The questions asked were more about who he had been with and not how he is doing, what were the symptoms. He can’t be so naive to deal with the situation as per contact of the first three cases, we do not know exactly how many of us are walking around without symptoms as yet.

We’ll still have something for Easter
Those of us who are less than octogenarians have never seen an Easter as somber as this one we’re experiencing now. Many have said that the Easter season, Holy Week, had lost its reason, that we had made it into a season for partying instead of a season for reflecting on the sacred journey of Jesus the Christ, from the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday, the cleansing of the Temple on (Holy) Monday, to the Cross on Good Friday, and then the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday.

Mr. and Mrs. Jerome …
I had not had an opportunity to speak with Jewel face to face until the following year, at which time I had been given her full account of the wedding, although Jerome, through the magical facility of Polaroid, had placed a photograph of the event on the table of my work station on the Monday afterwards and many of the details had emerged in the course of telephone conversations.

Hope in times of despair
Dear Editor, Chapter 4 in the Gospel of St. Mark, in the 35th to 41st verses, presents a very chilling yet inspiring tale. Let’s recall that frightful evening when Jesus had fallen asleep and a storm emerged: “One evening Jesus and his disciples set out to get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus fell asleep. A great windstorm arose, and waves were spilling into the boat...”

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the US will be weakened as the global hegemony
Dear Editor, As of today, April 4, 2020, the price of oil is US $28.34 a barrel. The price of oil has been less than US$30 and as low as US$20 for about a month now. The Russians refused to cut production, and then Saudi Arabia said they will sell, in April, 12.3 million barrels a day, more than their production capacity, which means that they will use their reserves.

US seizes ventilators destined for Barbados
The United States government seized 20 ventilators destined for Barbados, the island’s Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic informed Sunday. “They were seized in the United States. Paid for, but seized, so we are trying to see exactly what is going to transpire there,” Bostic said, explaining that the ventilators donated to the Barbados government were barred from exportation.

LOVE FM

Amended Statutory Instrument requires all stores to close at four
Statutory Instrument Number 52 of 2020 was signed yesterday bearing amendments to the Emergency Powers Regulations of the Belize Constitution. The amendments are related particularly to the movements of residents in the Cayo District.

FinSec speaks on the unusual delay of salaries for public officers
Public officers have come to enjoy the luxury of being paid well before the actual pay period is over. For this pay period and perhaps several more to follow paydays may be somewhat delayed. Ordinarily, government workers would be seeing their salaries deposited today, April 8 for the period April 1 to April 15.

Public officer is the eighth person to be infected with COVID-19
The Ministry of Health has identified the eighth case of COVID-19 in Belize. Patient Number Eight is a 50-year-old Belizean man of Corozal Town. The patient’s family has decided collectively to go public with Patient Eight’s identity and his situation.

Dengue cases starting to increase
While flu symptoms could be the first sign of COVID-19, health officials are warning that there is also an increase of dengue cases that could be confused for COVID-19. Dr. Marvin Manzanero spoke of this earlier today on the Ministry of Health’s webcast.

How will the bodies of persons who pass away due to the COVID19 virus be handled?
55-year-old Hubert Pipersburgh is the first victim of COVID-19 in Belize. He passed away on Sunday, April 5 at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Director of Health Services says don’t bank on the BCG Vaccine report just yet
The Ministry of Health is expecting a shipment of medication that would assist patients who develop bacterial pneumonia as a result of COVID-19. According to Dr. Manzanero, the shipment is earmarked for pregnant women and children only. He also spoke of medications in stock in Belize.

Ministry of National Security clarifies regulations of travel on sea, rivers, lagoons and other waterways
In a release from the Ministry of National Security, clarification was made regarding persons who travel on sea, rivers, lagoons and other waterways within Belize. According to the release, Statutory Instrument No. 46 of 2020, along with its subsequent amendments, categorizes those traveling conditions as emergency cases and essential needs only.

Is Belize experiencing a COVID-19 community spread?
Concerns are abounding when it comes to the community spread of COVID-19 in Belize. The issue of community spread arose when the source of infection for Patients Four, Seven and Eight are yet to be identified in the mapping exercise.

Twin Town streets empty after the lock down of the Cayo District
Starting at 8 o’clock tonight, the entire district of Cayo will be under a 2-week lockdown. This announcement was made yesterday by the Prime Minister and comes as a result of three COVID-19 patients who reside in San Ignacio Town. The town, which is usually bustling with residents and tourists, has come to standstill since the State of Emergency was enacted. Today, we spoke with the Mayor, Earl Trapp, on how this has been impacting them.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Mahogany Heights man douse in gas and lit on fire
Floyd Escarpeta, 25, was doused in gasoline and lit on fire. He suffered burns from […]

PUP calls on GOB to “come to its senses” over butane issue
The People’s United Party (PUP) is calling on the Government of Belize (GOB) to refrain […]

Ministry of Health condemns sexual violation of vulnerable persons
The Ministry of Health issued a statement condemning the sexual violation of vulnerable persons. The […]

Belize Bureau of Standards refrains from engaging with gas companies
The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, through the Supplies Control Unit (SCU) of the […]

Commissioner shares struggles of policing during State of Emergency
It’s hard out here for a cop, no less the top cop. Commissioner of Police Chester […]

Commissioner condemns ‘exploitation’ of assault victims on social media
The Commissioner of Police Chester Williams condemned the actions of one social media proprietor who attempted […]

Forest Department urges public to cease burning; halts issuance of burning permits
The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, through the Forest Department, reminds […]

Quality Poultry Products donates chickens to frontline workers in national Covid-19 response
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused major economic strain in Belize […]

Wuhan Province in China opens up after 76 days of severe lockdown due to Covid-19
The deadly virus, Covid-19 that has affected over 1 million people around the world began […]

Statements pending in San Martin beating incident
The two individuals who accused police in the San Martin area of Belmopan last week […]

Ministry of National Security clarifies movement of persons traveling at sea and waterways
The Ministry of National Security issued a statement clarifying the movement of persons traveling at […]

Lord Michael Ashcroft makes $100,000 donation to Ambergris Caye families
Keeping with a pledge made back in March Lord Michael Ashcroft has donated $100,000 in […]

Government reminds public of closed offices
The public is reminded that the following Government entities are closed to the public until […]

ComPol: “Idiot” police officers behind sex video to be dealt with
A chagrined Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says police are dealing with the vile incident […]

Miss England hangs up her crown to return to work as a doctor during coronavirus pandemic
The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has brought out both the best and worst in humanity, but […]

Unclear contagion link for 3 patients may mean community spread
On Tuesday, Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero shared that the late Hubert Pipersburgh, […]

Belize’s 8th case of Covid-19 confirmed in Corozal
The Ministry of Health has confirmed an eight case of Covid-19 in Belize. The Ministry […]

New Statutory Instrument provides for 2 years imprisonment for breach of regulations
The entire Cayo District has been placed under quarantine due to the COVID-19 threat. As […]

New changes to business hours in Cayo District
Beginning 8 last night, the entire Cayo District was placed under quarantine due to the […]

Blogs

Belize’s Best Honeymoon Resorts
Start your new chapter as newlyweds making blissful and everlasting memories in Belize! Look no further for your honeymoon destination with this list of breathtakingly gorgeous honeymoon resorts in Belize. Your honeymoon is the icing on the cake after the many months of planning details for your big day! Location matters, and a honeymoon in Belize is just what newlyweds need. Choose Belize – a blissful, English-speaking Caribbean country with breathtaking resorts. Booking, traveling, and arriving couldn’t be any easier. Undoubtedly, your honeymoon experience in Belize is sure to be remembered for a lifetime together.

Hot Cross Buns for Easter
Hop into Easter with a batch of warmly-spiced and perfectly-sweetened Hot Cross Buns! These yeast-based sweet buns filled with spices and raisins are a traditional Easter delicacy. Above ‘Peeps’ and all else, they’re the one thing that stands out as the food of the season. This year, Easter is going to look differently – there’s no doubt about that – but it doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to keep certain traditions going. Rich in flavor and history, these buns date back to the 12th century with numerous theories on how they originated. Widely enjoyed worldwide, Hot Cross Buns gets its name from their signature cross, baked right on top the dough or etched with icing.

International Sourcesizz

How This Belize Hotel Is Rethinking the “Virtual” Vacation
More and more hotels and destinations are looking to take their offerings virtual right now, with the current climate leading to a surge in “digital vacations.” The latest to launch one is the legendary Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize, which has revealed its new “Virtual Belize Vacation.” And they’re doing it in a different way — by getting travelers not just to dream, but to learn. “Travel restrictions, business closures and other measures currently in place to fight the Coronavirus pandemic will pass. And preparing for your Belize vacation now will help you and your family enjoy it to the fullest when you finally are able to visit us,” said Denise Duran, a spokesperson for the resort.

Dr Bill Griggs gives tips on how to avoid bringing coronavirus home
This is a good, quick read. One of South Australia’s top doctors has compiled a 25-point checklist for how to avoid bringing coronavirus home after venturing out. The Royal Adelaide Hospital’s former trauma services director, Dr Bill Griggs, said he devised the list in response to requests from “non-medical” friends. It begins with wearing nothing below the elbows, including watches, when going out, and ends with wiping down the gearstick and seatbelt once home again.

Videos

  • Hope Haven Accepting and Giving Donations, 40min.

  • INFORMATION REGARDING GUIDELINES OF THE STATUTORY INSTRUMENT, 11min.

  • Belize Volleyball PSA, 1min. Team Belize has a little PSA out: Stay Healthy, Stay Fit, and Stay Home.

  • JipiJapa Basket and Daily Life in its Making - Belize - Jipijapa Palm Traditional Mayan Basketry, min. In early February of 2020, with few words and yet clear direction, Gloria Teul of San Felipe, Belize, taught me how to make the traditional coil basket of the Mayan people. Wild crafted from leaves of the Jipijapa palm, the baskets can be shaped to suit a variety of uses. From bread baskets and dry storage containers, to a stash box for all your secret treasures the natural expressions of white, green, and black, and the addition of colorful threads are creatively utilized in their artful decor. Being handmade these baskets take many hours to construct. The whole process from harvest to beautiful basket takes days to clean, boil, dry, possibly dye, and stitch. For more info and for baskets contact Gloria on WhatsApp 510-661-9925.

  • WEDNESDAY World Health Organization (WHO) Media briefing on COVID-19, 53min.

  • Wednesday's Ask the Experts..., 60min.

  • How to make face masks at home, 21min. The debate continues about whether or not you should wear masks. If you have decided to wear one this segment helped you learn how to make them at home. Christine Huang shared her artistic expertise to teach us how to make them from breathable fabric and elastic bands.

  • How to stay safe during this COVID-19 - Glenn Tillett perspective, 45min. Well known journalist Glenn Tillett talked with us about how he is preparing to stay safe during this COVID-19. He shared his take on how persons in the high risk populations can take the necessary steps to adjust to life in this time.

  • Persons facing unemployment and other related issues as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, 53min. Audrey Matura shared her legal advice for persons facing unemployment and other related issues as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19.

  • UWI Regional COVID-19 Task Force, min.

  • Churches Update - COVID-19, min.

  • Our beloved San Pedro Pirates have a message for you San Pedro: Stay Home...please, 2min.

  • Public Servants’ Salaries Will Be Paid Six Days Later Than Announced, 4min. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has confirmed to KREM News that public servants' salaries which had been set to be paid today, April 8th for the 15th pay period will not be paid until April 14th. In essence, it will be 6 days later than scheduled. Legally, the Government is obliged to pay salaries twice per month and the next was due on the 15th. However, for convenience, they normally pay before then. In this case, taking into account the Easter break we are entering now, the payment was set for the 8th. Waight says the salaries will be paid on the 14th across the board.

  • FINCA SOLANA HOUSE FIRE, 10sec. A small bungalow wooden house in the Finca Solana area of Corozal is completely charred after a neighbourhood bush fire goes out of control. The fire department was able to rescue two dogs that were on the property. No one was in the house at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. Neighbours reported that the flares have been ongoing since last week and have been reported to the local authorities.

  • Belize 2020, 10min. A Father-Daughter Scuba Adventure!

  • Wednesday - 2020 Holy Week Service with Rev. Andella Moore (Wesley Circuit, Belize)., 48min.

  • SportsLab Home Edition, 50min.

  • The Plug! New Episode, 26min.

  • To'one Masehualo'on NGO at Escuela Tecnica Secundaria Mexico (Corozal) sharing about our beautiful Yucatec Maya (Maasewal) culture, .5min. hank you Mr Camilo Pop for singing in the Q'eqchi' Maya language also.


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