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When Does Belize Reopen Its Economy? #541840
04/22/20 05:25 AM
04/22/20 05:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,056
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP
The losses triggered by COVID-19 to the business sector are enormous and the road to economic recovery will be a long and arduous journey. Many businesses will have to rebound even as thousands of Belizeans are unemployed. The more stringent lockdown will be lifted on Saturday which coincides with when a peak is forecasted. Opposition Leader John Briceńo says that reopening the economy in the weeks ahead can be done systematically with the right precautions being taken to ensure that there are no outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country. He recommends that the airport should be re-opened down the road in early June.

John Briceńo, Leader of the Opposition

“By Saturday, the two weeks hard lock down is coming to an end and so that next week we can start to open up the economy step by step slowly, to make sure that we don’t make any mistakes. This week is going to be a critical week that we have to look at very closely to see if there will be more people that come up with the virus. We believe that it’s the peak, according to Dr. Manzanero, is going to be between the twenty-fourth and the twenty-sixth of April, which is this week and if we don’t see any surge of people with the virus, then we can look at opening up the economy. Things as they are right now, I believe that we can start to open the airport by June. Now certainly it’s not going to be like before, we have to put in certain precautions at the airport only at this time. But as a government, we need to give a signal that we are prepared to open so that then that would allow American Airlines, Delta, Copa, United, Southwest, all of these airlines that fly to Belize could start to program their flights that they are going to start to fly to Belize and hopefully we can start to get some tourists to come to Belize. It’s not going to be an overnight work, it’s going to take some time, but again we need to be bold but cautious because we have to ensure that the health of our people comes first.”

How Soon Can Belize Reopens Its Borders? Not So Fast – Says DHS!

As we reported at top of the newscast, it’s been nine days since the last person tested positive for COVID-19 in Belize. And while Belize has only a handful of cases at the moment – and can only declare COVID-19 outbreak free after twenty-eight days of no confirmed positive case – we may not be able to go back to a state of normalcy immediately if that happens. Today, during the Ask the Experts online session, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero noted that the situation is different in Mexico. While so far Belize has only reached a phase one, Mexico is now at a phase three and expects a peak in COVID-19 until a month’s time. So, as Doctor Manzanero explains, there is a not a clear cut answer as to when the borders will be reopened when we consider the regional COVID-19 picture.

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Understand that we never transitioned to stage two of our response. We basically remained at stage one, even though we took stage three measures and we did that progressively. Can’t shy away from the fact that just this morning, I am saying it because our neighbor up north – so that you can get an idea of how long this can be and we have to be careful about the advice we give as we move along. The government of Mexico this morning declared that they are now in a stage three situation and they are not expected to peak at the current curve they are having until May twenty-third. That is more than a month from today, so that will give you an idea where they are going with their cases, in case people are asking when that border will open, so we get an idea of how difficult it is do predictions in that regard. If after twenty-eight days has passed without a new case, will you advise the borders to open? That is a tricky situation because I just explained what’s happening in Mexico. So we might not have a case, but if they are just going at a very rapid pace, escalating in their curve, it is not going to be sensible for us making that recommendation. If the U.S. is just going through their curve and they might not be peaking until July, then you will understand it will not make much sense even if you have an open airport or open border because you are going to have to be selective with who will be allowed to come in. You will recall going back to January; first people coming from China couldn’t come and then you added countries like South Korea and Taiwan. That might be the way we open up. You say people can X country can come in and you opening it up gradually, the same way we kinda locked down. I think that’s the same process we are going to follow.”

Channel 5

Re: When Does Belize Reopen Its Economy? [Re: Marty] #541874
04/23/20 05:09 AM
04/23/20 05:09 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,056
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP
Uncertainty About Reopening of the Economy

The Ministry of Health has not reported any new cases of COVID-19. But while that is encouraging news, the government will be extending the state of emergency up until the end of June. In its weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, several issues were discussed in regards to the COVID-19 crisis. One of the pointed issues is the agro-processing sector which is severely impacted by the disease. In the past three weeks; the process of exporting across the border to Guatemala has been frustrated because the Chairman of Bullet Tree Village is determined to charge a toll for vehicle traversing through the village. That decision has become a sore point because livestock producers are losing millions in the informal trade. While commenting on the issue of formal trading with neighbouring countries, Minister of Investment, Trade and Commerce, Tracy Panton also said that it is not certain when economic activity will pick up in Belize.

Tracy Panton, Minister of Investment, Trade & Commerce

“Reopening the economy is a little bit premature. While we do have two cases that have recovered, as Doctor Manzanero said yesterday, we don’t have a curve. I do believe that at our meeting next week, we hope to relax some of the measures that are now in place so that there can be more movement in the economy, but there won’t be any opening of any borders or the airport or anything like that. We feel like the public health officials have really done a good job. Certainly, we have not shut down the productive sector; we have kept the productive sector open and we are speaking to the markets where we can export excess, what we can use in the government programmes we will be using. But I think it is still a couple weeks ahead of us before we can say we have reopened the economy, so to speak. The position of the government has always been to try and ensure that we can have a formal system for trading—whether it is cattle or poultry—with our neighbouring countries. I know the Ministry of Agriculture has been busy and our embassy in Guatemala has been very busy in trying to find a formal channel for this trade to happen because there are risks, certainly great risks for the informal system an d we want to make sure that we capture as much as we can in the formal system so that we can account for what’s going across the border, both ways.”

Channel 5

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