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Today's Belize News: August 8, 2020 #544052
08/08/20 07:12 AM
08/08/20 07:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,082
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

From Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Christopher Noble
Guys tonight the weather is not our friend I have asked that officers extend courtesies to persons that may need to visit the various docks to secure their boats. While minimal, we are trying to be our brothers keeper and allow all to secure their livelihood. While we extend the courtesies, we encourage all persons to wear their protective gear and be safe

San Pedro DJ Announces Testing Positive For COVID-19
Island DJ Abner Diaz, known as DjSmallz reached out to his community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, on a Facebook post, announcing that he has tested positive for SARS COVID-19. “Well I am finally here to tell you all that YES I am a COVID-19 Positive ... I just got my results so that’s why I didn’t post anything before. So to you all out there just please wear your mask wash your hands and keep safe.”

Ambergris Caye under quarantine; priority given to symptomatic patients
Residents of San Pedro Town in Ambergris Caye woke up on Friday, August 7th to a 14-day quarantine following an alarming spike in cases of COVID-19. The increase in cases on the island is attributed to community transmission, with further cases to be confirmed. The most vulnerable are being prioritized as islanders continue to flock to the Mar de Tumbo flu clinic for testing. Commercial activities on the island are slowing down, as the lockdown came with strict restrictions, including curfew and the closure of several businesses and construction projects.

Opinion: We need more support and empathy during COVID; say no to ignorance and hate!
While there are many symptoms that are attributed to COVID-19 positive patients, including shortness of breath, extremely high fevers, body aches, loss of sense of smell and taste, there is one that isn’t mentioned. The mental distress – primarily caused out of fear of ostracization, prejudice and sheer ignorance of one’s fellow citizen – can be just as difficult to deal with. It is a completely unnecessary side-effect to COVID, yet it seems to have become the most prominent. San Pedro Town is under quarantine due to an alarming spike of cases, after months of being free of COVID. However, if we look back to the reactions spurred upon the first case on Ambergris Caye, the level of hate and vitriol unleashed upon the victim, and the demands for her identity was alarming. Belizeans were practically clamoring for blood. One would have thought that COVID was never going to make it into the country, despite being bordered by countries now collapsing under the pressure of their case numbers.

Ambergris Today

U.S. Embassy And UNICEF In Joint COVID-19 Prevention Project Belize
The United States Government, through the U.S. Embassy and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the launch today of a U.S. $300,000 project to fund UNICEF’s work to reduce the risk and impact of COVID19 for vulnerable children and adolescents in Belize. During today’s ceremony at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, the U.S. Embassy announced the launch of its project to fund COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures through its partnership with UNICEF. Areas of intervention will focus on: risk communication and community engagement; improving infection prevention and control, including with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services; providing critical hygiene supplies; and data collection and analysis.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location

Social Security closes San Pedro branch due to lockdown
Important Notice: Effective immediately, the San Pedro Branch Office will be temporarily closed to the public for the duration of the 14 day lock-down. Registration Service for new or replacement of Social Security Cards is also temporarily suspended. We remind our customers of the availability of our Online Services for the ELECTRONIC submission of claims to [email protected] and of the online service for payment of contributions. San Pedro Branch Cell Number: 604-1867.

COROZAL: OPEN NOW - THE NUÑEZ DENTAL CLINIC
LOCATION: Phillip Goldosn Hwy, CALCUTTA VILLAGE, COROZAL CONTACT: 622-0193 QUALITY, AFFORDABLE DENTAL CARE: WORKING HOURS: Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday - CLOSED Sunday - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tropic Air Amends Passenger and Cargo Schedule
Due to the National State of Emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, all passenger flights to and from San Pedro have been suspended for at least the next 14 days. Cargo flights to and from San Pedro continue, but the schedule has changed. Likewise, our schedule to and from Caye Caulker has been amended. Passenger and cargo flights to Dangriga, Placencia – Riversdale and Punta Gorda from Belize City remain unchanged. The operational days and times for the flights and for our stations, effective Monday, August 10th, is shared below.

DOE COVID-19 Preventative Measures
Recognizing that some persons carrying the COVID-19 virus may be asymptomatic, the Department of the Environment (DOE) is taking the following preventative measures to limit exposure and reduce the risk of its staff and protect the community from fostering the accelerated spread of COVID-19.

Flood Forecast for August 7, 2020

COVID-19 Update from Office of Director of Health Services
We are releasing until this hour as we are trying to reach the positive cases in the first instance. A record numbers of tests for one single day was processed today - a total of 214. The majority of the remaining cases are for now related to the two clusters in San Pedro. We are still working on the line listing but needed to share this preliminary data for now.

Proclamation Declaring State of Emergency
WHEREAS, section 18 (2) of the Belize Constitution provides that the Governor-General may, by proclamation which shall be published in the Gazette, declare that a state of public emergency exists for the purposes of Part II of the Constitution; AND WHEREAS, section 18 (3) of the Belize Constitution provides that, in order to have effect, the proclamation must contain a declaration of the Governor-General that he is satisfied that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the outbreak of infectious disease; AND WHEREAS, section 18 (4) of the Belize Constitution provides that a proclamation made under section 18 (2) may be made so as to apply only to such part of Belize as may be specified in the proclamation;

BELIZE CONSTITUTION (EMERGENCY POWERS) REGULATIONS, 2020
Regulations for Ambergris Caye, Santa Martha Village, Shipyard Village and Guinea Grass Village. REGULATIONS made by the Governor-General in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by section 18(9) of the Belize Constitution, Chapter 4 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, and all other powers thereunto him enabling.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Closed Until Further Notice
Dear Valued Stakeholders and Members of the General Public: The Hol Chan Marine Reserve ["HCMR"], hereby notifies the General Public that the Marine Reserve will be closed to Visitation as of today, Friday, August 7th, 2020 until further notice. This is in line with the State of Emergency placed on Ambergris Caye by the Government of Belize. We assure you that our Team will continue monitoring and patrolling to safeguard the natural resources of the Marine Reserve and the integrity of our tourism product. We will continue to update the public as changes occur. We would like to thank our Stakeholders, the Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker Communities for their valued cooperation in the past.

Ministry of Health ReOpens Emergency Operations Center for COVID19
The Ministry of Health has officially reactivated its Emergency Operations Center to support its COVID19 health response. Kindly call us at 0-800-MOH-CARE (0-800-664-2273) hotline, which is free. We will guide you on receiving health support. Please call us first before visiting any health care facility.

Reconstructing the sidewalk of the San Pedro R.C. School
In these dark times, we need a little light and color! Here's an update on our Sidewalk Project.

Face Masks and Thermometers donated to San Pedro
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in San Pedro, Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented Superintendent Christopher Noble with a donation of two infrared forehead thermometers and a supply of face masks to help aid the Police Department. The items presented to the Superintendent were originally donated to San Pedro by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Atlantic Bank’s 10th Annual Art Competition
Participate in Atlantic Bank’s 10th Annual Art Competition and Win great prizes! This year there are two categories visit http://atlabank.com/art_competition_1.php for more on how to enter!

Joseph Gray Jr. Scholarship Fund
This is a great opportunity.

ATTENTION PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF COROZAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
We hope that you are all well and safe. With the recent changes in our country due to the pandemic, our school has had to make changes to our reopening plans. Take note that orientation activities planned for next week have been postponed until further notice. Students that have not picked up their Digi device can do so on Monday as of 9:00 a.m. Please view class lists for the new school year. Students have been placed in a class that has been divided into two groups. For example: 1A-Group1 and 1A Group2

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PARISH RELEASE
Brothers and sisters, let us continue in prayer as we enter again in set of established protocols set by government, this is to avoid the continuation of the virus spread. At our parish we made some changes to adapt. The following will help us cooperate. 1. Masses and Services will continue. a. Services in the villages can be done in two separate hours to accommodate b. Follow the new protocols given by government (Maximum 25 persons, use Mask at all times, distancing) ...

FBB 2021 Community Grant Call
Full Basket Belize is accepting grant applications for community based projects. They have supported scores of projects around Cayo and Belize over the years, as well as providing many high school scholarships. Now's the time to send them grant requests. The deadline is October 2nd. Head to their website for more information. You can see this year's projects on their website:

THE NOHOCH CHEEN, ATM AND BARTON CREEK ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESERVES ARE ALL CLOSED DUE TO FLOODED RIVER CONDITION
PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION

Helping a Belizean archaeologist conducting research
Good afternoon Belizeans! Once again we are reaching out to you to help a Belizean archaeologist conducting research. This research focuses on Belizean opinions and perceptions about archaeology and cultural heritage in Belize. Please take the time to complete the survey and share it to all your Belizean friends and family!

Atlantic Bank Closes in San Pedro
ATM services remain available.

San Pedro Tour Guide office closes for two weeks
The San Pedro Tour Guide office will be closed for the next two weeks but will continue to share our weekly food pantry !! Please wear a mask properly, sanitize or wash hands regularly and maintain your distance ( 1 Perifeet ) !!! STAY SAFE !!!

Channel 7

COVID Cases Continue To Climb
Tonight - COVID cases are surging in San Pedro where health authorities says there is very active community transmission. And there's also community spread in Santa Marta village - I went there today and we'll have that later on in the news. Countywide there are 80 active cases - most of them spread across three active clusters in San Pedro. And by the end of the night there will be many more, as 75 samples were taken today from persons showing symptoms on San Pedro. Health authorities say they expect the possible confirmation of another 30 cases could be confirmed tonight. Here's Dr. Russell Manzanero from the Ministry of Health giving an overview of the numbers countrywide. He spoke a short while ago on Ask The Experts:

Expect Another 30 Cases Tonight
And while the majority of cases are concentrated in San Pedro, the preliminary report from today doesn't look to change that much. Here's Dr. Marvin Manzanero with he latest figures from a short while ago on Ask the Experts: "We get some preliminary reports earlier. I'll just share that with you. For today there is approximately 180 samples being processed. Of those we have going to confirmation which means that we are going to confirm by a secondary test as well 30. We have 30 that will go on confirmation. From where they are we are not sure yet, I'm just being told that it's not only from San Pedro."

Positive Cases Include Two Doctors
So, the footprint of infection seems to be expanding, and last night's new record of 28 positive cases also pointed to cases in Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio. There was one new case in San Ignacio associated to illegal entry, one case in Belmopan from apparent travel to San Pedro, 3 more cases in the Northern Region, 2 in Santa Marta and one in Orange Walk, and 20 new cases in San Pedro, two of them coming out a a church gathering, and 10 of them related to cluster #1 - who's the expatriate female with a prominent name. Her partner is believed to be the index cases on the island. And while the numbers now lead a dizzying dance, one arresting fact is that frontline workers, including doctors and nurses are also now showing up with positive cases.

Island DJ Opens Up About Positive COVID Test
That is a sobering message for sure, and a San Pedro DJ has gotten it loud and clear. He is Abner Diaz, known on the island as DJ Smallz. He posted his COVID 19 positive status on facebook today - and we spoke to him about it via phone: Jules Vasquez, reporter: "First of all Smallz how do you feel?" Voice of: Abner Diaz "DJ Smallz" - tested positive for Covid19: "I am feeling good. The worst already happened the first few days, after that it got smoother and I feel better now." Jules Vasquez, reporter: "How did the symptoms feel when you had it? It felt like a regular flu, what did it feel like?"

Long Lines At San Pedro Flu Clinic
And the very many island residents who have had contact with infected persons like DJ Smalls have been lining up at the town's flu clinic. But the wait can last hours, even all day. Our colleague form the San Pedro Sun spoke to one young man who'd been waiting since the day before: Voice of: Person waiting at Clinic: "So far it was me and my entire family that has been trying to get tested. I came here by myself whole day yesterday and I was unable to get tested and today finally made some progress..."

San Pedro Clinic Is Overwhelmed
Our colleague from the san Pedro Sun Dion Vansen did that interview, and we spoke to him via Zoom about the situation at the clinic: Dion Vansen, Reporter, San Pedro Sun "The clinic over here is getting overwhelmed. According to people that have been there trying to get swabbed they have been turn back because they are trying to focus on people that are symptomatic, because according to them they don't have enough test kits, so they can't test everybody that shows up and say I think I have it. If you have it and you have no symptoms and you are turn back then you might continue spreading it and until you get sick then you will get swabbed and it might be too late."

MOH Will Need To Re-focus Efforts On Belize City
But, many islanders will now have to go without testing. With "very active community transmission" confirmed on the island, the Ministry of Health says it needs to re-focus to Belize City - where there is the possibility of the virus getting a foothold in the country's largest population center: Lorna Perez, Surveillance Officer: "We will be changing our strategy somewhat and this goes for the people in San Pedro, I know you are anxious, you want to be tested, but Doc, maybe you could clarify, because we will be looking at other potential areas. Belize City is a place of concern. Right now we have over 100 people waiting to be screened with the cases that came up there are so many more, but the priority is shifting. We need to contained and so we need to look at other areas of potential exposures."

San Pedro, Life In Lockdown
So, basically, the directive to townspeople is: don't come in, just call, and we'll call you back. A necessary strategy, but not exactly confidence building...and we asked our colleague about the mood on the island which is now in its first day of lockdown:

COVID Across Communities
In our first segment we told you all about what it's like on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, but that is only one of four communities under lockdown. The others are the Orange Walk villages of Shipyard, Guinea Grass, and Santa Marta. Tonight they've returned to the strict measures that we all lived under back in March, that means no non-essential travel, not even to their nearest community. And those restricted movements are being manned by the police who've placed checkpoints at the entrances to all 3 villages. I got to see the checkpoint to Santa Marta firsthand.

Area Rep Says Productive Communities Locked Down
Today, CTV-3 spoke to area representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Mai. He's the representative for many of those villages and he explained that these are communities with people who need to work outside their villages, and there are also agricultural considerations:

Laying Down the Law On Lockdown
And while there are very localised concerns for those rural communities, and San Pedro Town - the Government says a 14 day lockdown of all those areas is a very necessary step to contain further spread of COVID 19. And, to outline the news rules as only he can, last night, several hours before the new COVID-19 went into effect, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte made a prime time appearance on the Ask the Experts Webcast. He laid down the rules and the laws that will pertain in these four communities for the next 14 days:

Keeping Firebun Fed
And, the government is also planning on how to come to aid the residents of the Fireburn Community. Geographically, it is tied directly to Shipyard, since visitors have to travel through Shipyard to arrive there. So, since the lockdown is now in effect, all residents of Fireburn are now effectively cut off from the rest of the country. The Attorney General said that the authorities have already identified a protocol to get important food and water resources to them: "There's a village that's next to Shipyard, called Firebun - I think it is. Now, that village, if you shutdown Shipyard, essentially, you're blocking that village because apparently, you cannot go to that village without first entering Shipyard..."

Contraband and Border Jumping Penalties Equalized
And, while there is some special consideration for that small community, there is going to be no consideration at all for border jumpers, contraband smugglers, or those who purchase and consume contraband. In a draconian crackdown, if you are caught with a single contraband product, you will face the same penalty as a person caught on the Rio Hondo smuggling a wholesale contraband cargo. And that penalty isn't a fine anymore, it's 6months in jail, and no bail at the magistrate's court! That's like a firearm offence, and the AG explained why government has no more patience for border jumpers:

The Rules For The Rest Of the Country
So, that is the new super-strict regulation for contraband and border jumping, but if you don't get into any of that mess, and if you don't live in San Pedro, Shipyard, Guinea Grass, and Santa Marta, life for the next 14 days will not change so drastically. But, there will be a national curfew and state of emergency countrywide, and so you aren't free to move and operate as you please. Here's what the Attorney General had to say about how the SOE and the curfew will work, and what you need to do to stay out of trouble:

Mentally Ill Man Accused of Scalding Cop
Last night we showed you the cop who had been scalded. He was trying to get a pedestrian to put on his mask, and the man threw hot water on the police man. Seems like an open and shut case of textbook lawless Belize City behaviour, but there is another side to this story. The man - who is now accused of aggravated assault - is Nigel Ferguson. His family says he is mentally ill and has been threatening violence to his family for weeks now.

Coast Guard Goes Blue Lightning
The Belize National Coast Guard has launched a major operation in Belize's northern waters to keep corona virus out of Belize. They've also launched a slick promotional video to showcase their work. Acting Commander Greg Soberanis told us about it today:

Keeping The Waters Clear
Yesterday at the BDF headquarters, Soberanis discussed the vessels that the Coast Guard has had to escort out of Belize: Soberanis told us that the vessels that have tried to enter Belize's waters have all come from neighboring Central American countries.

Coast Guard and PPE's
And when Coast Guard officers make all these arrests and interceptions, how do they protect themselves? In that promotional video, everyone had on their fancy blue "camo's" - but what do they wear when they encounter a Mexican vessel?

Emergency On the Waters? Call 999
And, speaking to us via Zoom today, Soberanis also told us about a new emergency hotline that the Coast Guard has launched. Instead of calling 911, if you have an emergency on the sea, or if you witness something shady, call 999. He explains:

Keeping Businesses Rolling During SOE
In our last segment we told you all about the personal restrictions on movement during the state of emergency which went into effect at midnight. Well, the National State of Emergency also comes with some regulation of commercial activity, but unlike the first national SOE, the Government isn't forcing the closure of all private sector enterprises this time around. The only places where an almost complete shutdown is being enforced are those 4 communities of San Pedro, Santa Marta, Guinea Grass, and Shipyard. But, there will still be some closures that will be required under the SOE, and the Attorney General gave the public the breakdown last night:

Face Mask Rules Still Apply
And once again, the government is doubling down on the rules about wearing face masks and practicing proper social distancing. Earlier this week, before this massive spike in the number of coronavirus cases, were confirmed, Police Commissioner Chester Williams made it clear that police were returning to strict enforcement. Last night, the Attorney General reiterated that point, and he said that there will be zero tolerance for law-breakers: "For the rest of the country, you're not required to wear a face mask if you're at a private residence, if you're exercising if you're engaging in any sporting activity - so sporting activities are allowed outside of the lockdown areas - if you're swimming, if you're driving alone or driving with immediate family members, riding a motorcycle or a bike, the priest, pastor, member of the choir, or other person conducting a service or sermon of a church or other place of worship, or at a restaurant where dining in is allowed because if you're eating, you can't wear the mask."

US Issues Travel Advisory for Belize
It may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but the United States has issued a level 4 travel advisory for Belize. In other words, "do not travel". It's a response to the spike in coronavirus cases this week, and the advisory says "Do not travel to Belize due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Belize due to crimeTravelers to Belize may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Belize due to COVID-19."

Channel 5

August 6th Confirmed Cases Stand at 28; Total of 80 Active Cases Across the Country!
In coronavirus crisis—San Pedro and Santa Martha have community spread and the number of cases continues to grow. The confirmed COVID-19 cases have jumped to over one hundred since our [...]

M.O.H. Adjusts Testing Strategies; Belize City is of Concern!
And as the number of cases increase – the Ministry of Health says that contact tracing and testing strategies are evolving. Tonight, we can tell you that the ministry is [...]

Preliminary Report: 30 New COVID-19 Cases
There are thirty preliminary confirmed cases of COVID-19 tonight. These initial numbers come from one hundred and eighty samples processed today.  These results are going for secondary confirmation and that [...]

If You Have Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19, Self-Isolate and Call 0800-MOH-CARE
And so if you are exhibiting symptoms or believe you were exposed to COVID-19, the Ministry of Health is advising you to call before you visit a health clinic. The [...]

Snaking Lines at San Pedro Medical Clinic
Residents of San Pedro are attempting to keep calm, but there is nervousness on the island which is the epicenter of the coronavirus in the country. Still hundreds more have [...]

Three San Pedro Residents Come Out as COVID-19 Positive
Three persons from San Pedro came forward and released on social media their COVID-19 positive status. They did so to inform persons who came in contact with them to be [...]

Attorney General Explains Measures in Lockdown Areas
The lockdown of the villages of Santa Martha, Shipyard, and Guinea Grass along with Ambergris Caye came into effect today.  That is after the Ministry of Health confirmed positive COVID-19 [...]

S.O.E. Regulations for the Country as Explained by the Attorney General
While those three areas remain under strict quarantine, a State of Emergency has been announced for the rest of the country. As announced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday, [...]

AG Serious About Locking Up Violators
According to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte the fullest extent of the law will be brought down on any and everybody who flaunts the law. He says that law enforcement officers [...]

Senior Cops Now Suspended for Chaos at Port of Belize
Three senior police officers were placed on administrative leave following the chaos at the Port of Belize compound on July twenty-fourth. Eastern Division Commander and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Alden [...]

Several Persons Detained for Questioning in Murder of Shakeem Humes Sr.
On the night of August fifth, Shakeem Humes Senior was executed outside of his house in the Westlake area of the Eight Miles Community on the George Price Highway. The [...]

Confiscated Narco Planes for Sale
In June, the C.E.O. in National Security told News Five that government had sold four aircrafts for a million dollars.  The money was most welcome given the financial crunch and [...]

The Attributing Factors to Decreasing Crime Stats
On Thursday, the Police Department, in its bi-annual COMSTAT meeting held in Belmopan reviewed the crime statistics for the first half of 2020. As we reported, major crimes decreased by [...]

Can Hotels Survive Another Lockdown?
COVID-19 cases continue on the rise which means that if more community transmission is confirmed, the possibility of a countrywide lockdown is likely. While it is a decision that the [...]

Where Are the Enhanced Packages for Frontline Workers?
Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero announced today that several frontline workers have been infected with COVID-19. Three police officers, two nurses and three doctors are confirmed to have [...]

Facility to Contain Border Jumpers Approved by Cabinet
As part of COVID-19 measures to contain the virus; C.E.O. George Lovell also spoke about a centralized quarantine facility. He says that this will assist in containing border jumpers. Lovell [...]

911 Enforcer to Keep Track of Tourists
While government is looking at have one facility for border jumpers for better control, it will also be relying on a devise to track tourists whenever they arrive. The nine-one-one [...]

Coast Guard Launches Operation Blue Lightening
The Belize Coast Guard today launched Operation Blue Lightning. The operation is geared at keeping Belize’s maritime border closed during this crucial battle against COVID-19.  While the B.D.F. and police [...]

U.B.F.S.U. Says Still No Negotiations at U.B.
The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union is reporting tonight that their attempt to negotiations with the Board of Trustees and President of the UB has stalled.  The union [...]

Executing Unit for CABEI Loan Formed, Finally
Five years ago, in August 2015, the Government of Belize and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) signed a loan agreement for the Belize Integral Security Programme.  The overall [...]

US Embassy Gives Half-a-Mil for COVID-19 Prevention and Awareness
The U.S. Embassy handed over half-a-million Belize dollars for the implementation of a COVID-19 awareness and prevention plan.  UNICEF Belize is the local implementing partner and the work will target [...]


Re: Today's Belize News: August 8, 2020 [Re: Marty] #544053
08/08/20 07:12 AM
08/08/20 07:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 69,082
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Amandala

San Pedro under complete lockdown for 14 days
At a virtual press conference held this evening, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that because of an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections, the island of San Pedro will be under a complete lockdown for the next 14 days. Things have been bleak on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, since last Sunday, August 2, when a mysterious case of COVID-19 was discovered. As reported, this case originally had no known source of infection, as the patient claimed that she had not traveled internationally; however, her entire family had suffered flu-like symptoms prior to the release of test results which confirmed that she was infected with the coronavirus.

Schools will not reopen on August 10
Belizeans across the country faced mounting concerns as we approached the commencement date of the new school year. Since early July, both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health had been receiving expressions of concern from distraught parents and educators who believed that the decision to resume classes could be as catastrophic as the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), which was scheduled to take place on August 10. Since the reopening date was announced in June, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Patrick Faber, along with Chief Education Officer Dr. Carol Babb, had been stressing the importance of children being back in school both for their physical and mental wellbeing.

38 new COVID-19 cases in five days
On Tuesday, August 4, Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero, along with epidemiologist Dr. Russell Manzanero, held a press conference to discuss the new COVID-19 cases that had been discovered over the weekend. Belize recorded a record-high eight new cases on Saturday and an additional case was discovered in San Pedro on the following day, which resulted in a total of nine more active cases of the virus in the country in a matter of twenty-four hours.

Shakeem Humes, 23, executed in Mile 8 Community
At about 9:00 last night, Shakeem Humes, 23, a resident of the Mile 8 community, was repairing his car in front of his house when a vehicle drove up and stopped, and someone from inside the vehicle called him, and when he went to see what the person wanted, a barrage of gunshots was fired at him. Residents of the area told police that at least 25 shots were fired, and the vehicle then sped away.

Immigration officers busted with weed
Three Immigration officers attached to the Belmopan Immigration office have been charged jointly with drug trafficking after 7 pounds of marijuana was found in the Immigration Department vehicle in which they were traveling from Orange Walk to Belize City yesterday. The officers have been detained pending arraignment in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court.

House Meeting on August 3
The House of Representatives met once again on Monday, August 3, 2020 to debate a number of bills and motions — specifically, the bill for the extension of the State of Emergency (SOE) on the Southside of Belize City, as well as an act relating to immigration into Belize, an act regarding hotels and tourism, an act relating to quarantine measures and the act regarding electronic transactions for the development of legal and business infrastructure. The day’s debates began on the topic of extending the State of Emergency on the Southside for an additional sixty days. This debate stretched across most of the House meeting, and became very contentious when it was suggested that the SOE is a result of the failure of the UDP government over the past twelve years to provide access to jobs and educational opportunities.

2 more months of SOE for Southside Belize City
On Wednesday, August 5, the Senate approved a motion to extend the State of Emergency on the Southside for an additional two months. This means that persons who were detained following the July 7 declaration will remain imprisoned for an additional eight weeks. Senators debated the motion at length, and while some agreed to the implementation of the extension, considering the current pandemic, others called out the Government on their failed policy to effectively combat the scourge of crime and violence in Belize City.

Shedrack White, 44, remanded for Pound Yard murder
An investigation into the fatal stabbing of William Emmanuel Rubio, 47, a laborer of Belize City who was stabbed in his chest at about 7:30 Wednesday night in front of the Pound Yard Bridge Taxi Stand, led to Shedrack White, 44. White, who is unemployed, was charged for murder and taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Friday, and was remanded until October 1. Reliable reports indicate that Rubio became involved in an altercation with White, and White allegedly stabbed him in the chest, and then fled. Rubio was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Samuel August gets seven years for stealing, crashing SUV
Samuel August, Sr., 44, a backhoe operator, was taken to court today on charges of theft and damage to property. He was arraigned by Belize City Magistrate Emerson Banner, and he pleaded guilty to the charges. August is presently on remand for much more heinous crimes — specifically, the murder of his son and his son’s grandmother. Police said that at about 3:00 o’clock on the morning of October 31, August drove a backhoe into the house of Louise Young, his mother-in-law and the caretaker of his children.

Grenade launcher found in Dominguez Layout, Corozal
A grenade launcher, a device used by soldiers to fire 40 mm grenades, was found discarded in a bushy lot in Dominguez Layout, near the home of a man who police said is known to them. The launcher is a prohibited weapon, and an investigation has begun to find out if it has been issued by the military and how it may have ended up near the man’s home.

Editorial: Belizean ownership of businesses = more foreign reserves
The state of our foreign exchange reserves is always a big concern for Belize because, primarily, it supports our dollar which, since 1976, has been worth 50 US cents. Most of us know that the value of our dollar has been eroding, because the cost of goods from abroad keeps going up. If our foreign exchange reserves fall too low, our dollar would be directly devalued, and that would mean that our imports would cost even more. One yardstick we look to, to feel secure in our economic position, is the presence of sufficient foreign exchange reserves to cover our regular imports for three months. According to the website globaleconomy.com, in 2015 our foreign reserves was at its highest ever, at about US$540 million, but in June 2019 our foreign reserves had fallen to US$275 million, and in April 2020, just when we really began feeling the impact of the pandemic, it was at about US$270 million.

Former foreign ministers call on GOB to respond to kidnapping of Garinagu leaders
Last week five former foreign ministers of Belize — Eamon Courtenay, Assad Shoman, Lisa Shoman, Godfrey Smith, and Said Musa, who is also a former prime minister of Belize — issued a call to the Prime Minister and Government of Belize to have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs send a note expressing our concern to the Government of Honduras about the systematic abuse of Garinagu communities in that country, and in particular to ask for information regarding Garifuna leader Snider Centeno and four other Garinagu men who were abducted on July 18, 2020.

Police to give award for most COVID-19-related arrests
Starting this month, the Police Department will be issuing an award to the police officer who arrests the most violators of the COVID-19 safety regulations for the month. The announcement was made by Commissioner Chester Williams today during the police press brief held in the Commissioner’s office in Belmopan. Commissioner Williams said that there have been blatant violations of, and disregard for, the COVID-19 protocols, and police are now determined to make sure that these laws are obeyed. The department is therefore offering incentives to police officers to arrest violators of those regulations.

In the House, “Sedi” blasts his own party, the UDP
During a sitting of the House of Representatives today, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington delivered a searing criticism of the ruling United Democratic Party, to which he belongs, calling its three terms in government a failure. For the past twelve years Elrington has sat in Cabinet as one of the most powerful and senior members of the United Democratic Party. During his address, however, which surprised everyone in the House, he pointed out that Government is in part responsible for the decay in the family structure, which has caused the tremendous increase of crime and violence in Belize.

The Corona Reef complex to be designated a protected area
The Corona Reef complex, located south of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, includes some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Mesoamerican Reef System. Cabinet has thus approved an initiative put forward by the Belize Coast Guard to designate the location as a protected area. On Thursday, July 30, Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, signed a statutory instrument to protect the status of this important marine system.

“Boots” For Pickstock?
During a recent press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that outgoing Port Loyola area representative, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, has expressed interest in contesting the Pickstock division and has recruited senior UDP and area representative for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan, as his campaign manager. Martinez had said that he would not be contesting his constituency, Port Loyola, in future general elections. Longstanding UDP area representative in Pickstock, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, recently announced his resignation as area rep of the constituency, after an unsuccessful effort to be selected as the new leader of the party, and in the House of Representatives meeting yesterday, there were indications that he has “gone rogue,” as is evidenced by his blistering criticism of his government.

1st Annual Bernice Wade Memorial Cycling Race a resounding success
The First Annual Bernice Wade Memorial Cycling Race was held in scenic Bermudian Landing Village on Sunday, 2nd August, 2020. This event, which was organized by Dwayne Wade and supported by the Wade family and friends, was a series of road races on the Lemonal Road circuit. There were races for all categories of riders, which included Elite, A-Plus, A, B, C, Junior, Female and Youths/Kids.

From the Publisher
When I was a boy growing up in Belize, British Honduras, as I look back now, I actually thought I was something special, because of a few academic successes. Powerful forces in the society had plans for me, again looking back, and that was the reason I was riding high, so to speak. There wasn’t anything that special about I. I definitely began to realize the truth of my humble reality around 1969, 1970, when one of my younger brothers, my parents’ fourth son/child, began to become ill. He was under Father Ronald Zinkle’s thumb at St. John’s College Sixth Form when I, having returned from an American university the previous year, began to attack Zinkle on the UBAD rostrum. Life was turbulent for me at the time, and I did not realize how vulnerable my little brother was in school. Whatever the truth, I will always feel a certain amount of blame for Stephen’s deterioration.

Respect to Hon. Sedi for calling for more help for inner city youth
At two or more recent sittings of the House of Representatives, Hon. Sedi Elrington has made statements that do not fall along the UDP party line, and at the most recent sitting his comments were the most scathing. Speaking on the extension of a State of Emergency on the Southside of Belize City, Mr. Elrington said that the government he has served over the last 12 years has failed, indeed that all political leaders had failed the citizens in that part of our country. Many political leaders in Belize do not understand Southside Belize City, so they don’t grasp why every effort must be made to make life better for the people who live in that area.

The Reporter

Hotline for cracking down on illegal maritime activities
The Belize Coast Guard has launched a hotline number aimed at cracking down on illegal maritime activities. The public is being asked to make use of the new number to report any maritime emergency, request maritime enforcement, and provide maritime information including reporting border jumpers.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

A new record of 32 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Belize today
In a statement released a short while ago, the Ministry of Health reported that a […]

St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda adjusts services due to state of emergency
St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, announced several changes to its regular church services […]

Three Galen Eagles awarded Taiwan Scholarships
Today, Galen University congratulated 3 Galen Eagles who were awarded scholarships by Taiwan Ministry of […]

Galen Eagles awarded Chevening Scholarships
Today, the British High Commission announced the recipients of the prestigious Chevening scholarships. Two Galen […]

COVID cases up by more than 100 percent in just one week
When the Ministry of Health updated the nation on the COVID-19 situation on Friday, July […]

How United States and UNICEF are assisting Belize’s COVID-19 response
A joint project between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Belize and the Government […]

Operation Blue Lightning: Coast Guard moves against intruders into Belizean territory
At this critical time, the work of the Belize Coast Guard in stopping illegal activities […]

Health Officials say some 30 new COVID-19 cases may emerge today
Health Officials report that some 30 new COVID-19 cases may emerge after today’s testing is […]

Dr. Manzanero: “Everyone you see is a potential COVID-19 case…avoid unnecessary travel”
The mantra of Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr. Marvin Manzanero remains clear: “Everyone you see […]

Ministry sticks to protocol: Quarantine at home, take precautions if asymptomatic
The first preliminary report from the Ministry of Health says 180 samples are being processed today. […]

Eight frontline workers test positive for COVID-19
In today’s Ask the Experts, Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero was the bearer […]

COVID-19 battle: Contacts don’t matter anymore; focus will be on those most vulnerable, including the elderly
Belize’s battle with COVID-19 has taken on a new twist as Health authorities are becoming […]

Belize City on high alert for COVID-19; 100 potential cases to be screened
Nurse Lorna Perez, Surveillance Officer, makes note that passive surveillance involves those reporting directly to […]

ASK THE EXPERTS: Several new cases of COVID-19 confirmed including health workers and police
Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero says Belizeans cannot let down their guard as […]

Belizean-American businessman to donate laser thermometers to primary and high schools in San Ignacio & Santa Elena
Belizean- American businessman, Ramon Palma has pledged to provide red laser thermometers to all primary […]

Maskall village halts travel with neighbor Santa Martha
The Maskall Village Council has announced that effective Thursday – before neighbors Santa Martha in […]

Popular San Pedro DJ tests positive for COVID-19
Today, Abner Diaz aka DJ Smallz informed via his social media page that he has […]

La Luz del Mundo Church to host Holy Convocation
La Luz del Mundo Church will host its great celebration: the Holy Convocation, to commemorate […]

Orange Walk Mayor and staff test negative for COVID-19
Mayor of Orange Walk, Kevin Bernard informed that his test returned negative for COVID-19. Bernard […]

Social Security closes San Pedro branch due to lockdown
The Social Security Board informed today that effective immediately, the San Pedro Branch Office will […]

Over 19 million COVID-19 cases worldwide
As Belize battles its own surge in COVID-19 cases, the world is seeing the number […]

United States issues level 4 alert, warns against travel to Belize
On August 6, 2020, the United States Department of State published a level 4 alert, […]

Belize monitors 80 active cases of COVID-19
Health authorities are monitoring 80 active cases of COVID-19. On Thursday, the Ministry of Health […]

Blogs

Tropic Air temporarily suspends flights to / from San Pedro
Due to the National State of Emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, effective tomorrow August 7, all passenger flights to/from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are suspended. Cargo service will continue to the island, and we will release our amended cargo schedule tomorrow. We anticipate this suspension to be for up to 14 days, and we will update as more information becomes available.

Power outage 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. August 9 to affect a portion of the Cayo District
Unitedville to Arenal including Georgeville. Duck Run 1. 2 & 3. Billy White. Central Farm, Esperanza. Santa Elena, Santa Cruz. Benque Viejo. San Ignacio, Shay Mlle. San Miguel, Costa Rey. San Antonio. Bullet Tree Falls. Branch Mouth. Santa Familia, Calla Creek. Corozalito. Succotz. and surrounding areas. BEL to conduct maintenance and testing of equipment at San Ignacio Substation. replace utility poles. remove vegetation graving into the power lines and relocation of distribution device in the area.

Strength in Community: Coping with COVID-19 in Belize
As local COVID-19 cases rise in three districts – now under quarantine – many Belizean residents may experience feelings of fear, burnout, frustration, grief, and hopelessness at the chance to get back to normal. Health officials say these feelings are natural, globally. Perhaps, there is comfort in knowing we are not alone. Ministry officials and other agencies, as well as neighbors and community members, are available to support you. As Belize braces for the ripples of COVID-19, there is strength in community where being ‘our brother’s keeper’ is more important than ever.

Belize Postpones its Tourism Reopening
Belize has postponed the reopening of its Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The airport was previously scheduled to reopen on August 15 for chartered flights, private aviation and international leisure travel with approved hotels only. Prime Minister Rt. Dean Barrow, who made the announced at a press conference on Aug. 5, said that although the airport will not reopen, the weekly repatriation flights for Belizean nationals abroad will continue; this includes the 14-day mandatory quarantine and health screening upon arrival.

Belize Unveils 4-Step Processing for Tourists Once Airport Reopens
Belize has delayed reopening to international travel on August 15, which comes due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in three districts. Although travel to Belize continues to be suspended, the Government of Belize continues to prepare for reopening. Specifically, the Belize Tourism Board has recently unveiled a four-step travel system to process all tourists arriving in Belize.

International Sourcesizz

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ISSUES LEVEL 4 "DO NOT TRAVEL" ADVISORY TO BELIZE
The Travel advisory notes: Do not travel to Belize due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Belize due to crime. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Belize due to COVID-19. Travelers to Belize may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Belize due to COVID-19. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Belize.

US Issues Travel Warning for Several Caribbean Countries
The United States, which has the highest number of persons suffering or killed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has warned its nationals against travelling to several Caribbean countries because of the COVID-19 situations in those countries. On the updated list of travel advisories today, the United States issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisory for Cuba, The Bahamas, Guyana, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Belize. Crime was also the reason that Belize was listed as a Level 4 country. “Due to high crime, travelers are advised to exercise caution while traveling to the south side of Belize City. Local police lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Most crimes remain unresolved and unprosecuted.”

Videos

  • Friday's "Ask the Experts", min. with Drs. Marvin and Russell Manzanero of the Ministry of Health.

  • Operation Blue Lightning has been launched, 2min. Our efforts to keep our maritime border closed is crucial in the fight against covid 19. The Belize Coast Guard has launched Operation Blue Lightning in the northern part of the country. The operation was launched following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases and the mounting threat of border jumpers and contraband smugglers. The operation will provide 24hr security in maritime areas along the border communities in the north.

  • Healthy Living: Breastfeeding in COVID, 6min. It is world breastfeeding week. It is being celebrated under the theme, “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet.” But what are the risks associated with breastfeeding during a pandemic? We find out in tonight’s healthy living.

  • Belize April 2016, 5min.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - FILOMON PONCIO ROGELIO CUELLAR "ROJAS", 2min.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - LIBERATA "LIBBY" RODRIGUEZ, 2min.

  • Gaps and boost Birth Registration in Belize, 30min. A not so fun fact: a 2015 survey indicated that approximately four per cent of children between the ages of zero and five are not registered and children from low income families and rural areas are the least likely to have a birth certificate. This is a problem because without their birth certificate these children will lose access to the many essential services that will impact on a their quality of life. Our guests from Vital Statistics Unit, UNHCR and UNICEF talked with us about the joint campaign being launched to address these gaps and boost Birth Registration in Belize.

  • The Government of Belize has unveiled an Economic Recovery Strategy, 38min. The Government of Belize has unveiled an Economic Recovery Strategy. So how will this impact your livelihood? We invited Kay Menzies, Past President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry to educate us on what the strategy proposes to do to help the economy rebound.

  • "La Partera" a Belizean folklore authored by educator Melissa Bradley, 19min. Everyone loves a great story of intrigue and mystery. "La Partera", a Belizean folklore authored by educator Melissa Bradley, hopes to bring you that intrigued nestled within local folklore and culture. We invited her to talk with us about the inspiration behind the book. She explained that she enjoyed listening to these tales as a child and vowed to add her own stories to the local collection of folklore.

  • August 1st is celebrated as Emancipation Day, 43min. August 1st is celebrated as Emancipation Day in some Caribbean countries. Though it has been shown that there was a level of slavery practiced in Belize we don't often learn about it as a part of our history. Richard "Dickie" Bradley has been studying this and was our guest to shed light on the historical accounts of slavery in Belize.

  • Belize Healthcare Partners - reminders about how to stay safe, 46min. We cannot allow ourselves to grow complacent and relax the preventative measures that are necessary to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Internist at the Belize Healthcare Partners, provided us with timely reminders about how to stay safe. He updated us about the research on how the COVID-19 virus spreads.

  • The National Garifuna Council (NGC) - Garifuna leaders targeted over land disputes, 26min. The National Garifuna Council (NGC) is championing the cause of the Garifuna leaders in Honduras who are being targeted over land disputes. Representatives of the NGC shared their position and how they are standing in solidarity with their brothers in that country. Sandra Miranda - President, National Garifuna Council. Andrew Castillo - Vice President, National Garifuna Council.

  • Breastfeeding Week 2020, 29min. Breastfeeding Week has been set aside to celebrate the importance of exclusive breastfeeding. The Ministry of Health and UNICEF is celebrating the week under the theme: Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet. Our guests talked with us about the benefits for mothers, babies and the planet. Robyn Daly - Nutritionist, Ministry of Health. Anabel Maciel - Nutrition Consultant, UNICEF.

  • The Ministry of Health has confirmed an additional 15 cases, 42min. The Ministry of Health has confirmed an additional 15 cases of COVID-19. What's next? Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services with the Ministry of Health, spoke with us about these latest developments.

  • Human Interest Story - The Repatriation Process & KRIYA YOGA, 24min. Michelle Williams has been locked out of the country and spent four months in India at a YOGA seminar. We've followed her journey as she's adjusted to her COVID-19 experience outside the country. She recently completed the Repatriation process and is currently quarantined in Belize City. We caught up with her about the experience of the last few months. She also shared what she's learnt about KRIYA Yoga and its benefits to boosting the immune system.

  • Digital Learning & Pedagogical Solutions, 28min. According to a recent survey 72% of parents don't believe their children will consistently wear a mask while at school! Digital Learning & Pedagogical Solutions (DLPS) has conducted the survey to gauge the perceptions of parents about the 2020 academic year in the context of COVID-19. Our guest shared the results of the analysis and what it reveals about parent's COVID-19 perceptions and expectations. Adriani Coleman, Education Consultant with DLPS, shared some of the interesting data collected. She says that her work is an attempt to introduce data that can influence policy.

  • Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) - Update, 27min. Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated that the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport will be postponed indefinitely. This will have an impact on the tourism industry as preparations were being made for the August 15th reopening. We spoke with John Burgos, Executive Director, of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) to get the reactions to the delay.

  • Ambergris Caye becomes epicenter of COVID-19 in Beli, 4.5min. Residents on Ambergris Caye are in a state of panic as the island is now the epicenter of the COVID 19 pandemic in Belize. With the situation reaching record breaking and increasing numbers, the Government of Belize has placed the entire island on lockdown. Jorge Aldana reports.

  • Covid-19 Update #4 The Salvation Army Belize, 8min.

  • Remembering the historic Inauguration of the first Yucatec Maya museum in Corozal district, 7min. Remembering the historic Inauguration of the first Yucatec Maya museum in Corozal district was the fulfillment of one of our Mission Statements. We are greatful for the presence of our dignitaries, special guest, families, friends and community members who celebrated with us. I congratulate all the hard working team members who worked tirelessly to bring this mission to fruition. With out your efforts, this would not be in existence. Ms Loreen Matura, Miss Zuri Narvaez, Mr. Enan Narvaez, Mr. Hardy Narvaez, Mr. Frankie, Mrs Angelita Yam, Mr. Faustino Yam, Dr. Baldomino Barboza and family, Mr. Roy Rodriguez Sr, Jenny Uh, Hugo Uh, Rihanna Uh, Mr. Andy Chuc and family, Dona Genara Cano, the members of Jats'uts O'ok'ot dance group, Celeste Pederson, Ms Adela Pederson Vallejos. You are the most powerful and the best. A huge step in representation of our Yucatec Maya people of Belize.


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