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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
Ministry of Health Condemns Stigmatization of COVID-19 Patients
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health that many persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and as well as persons who may have been in contact with them are facing stigmatization and discriminated physically and emotionally, including through social media platforms.
San Pedro’s Dr. Javier Canul among winners of the Essential Workers Competition
Congratulations to Dr. Javier Canul, one of 4 who won a prize package via the Belizean Traveller Campaign’s Essential Workers Competition. Four unsung heroes within the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Belize Police Department (BPD) won a Belize Staycation Prize Package via the Belizean Traveller Campaign’s Essential Workers Competition. Spearheaded by the Belize Tourism Board, the package awards essential workers’ performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes cash prizes and a two-night stay at a host of different hotels in different parts of the country. One of those winners is San Pedro’s Dr. Javier Canul from the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.
San Pedro Town Council’s office closure not related to COVID-19 exposure
The offices of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) are closed during the 14-day lockdown implemented on the island, following an increase in COVID-19 cases. Mayor Daniel Guerrero explained that the reason for the closure has nothing to do with any positive cases within its administration, but to set an example to the island community of the importance to quarantine and follow the safety protocols established by the Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health Updates on Activities Related to Three Clusters of COVID-19 Cases
The Ministry of Health continues its mapping and contact tracing exercises as it aims to identify and contain the current spread of COVID-19 cases. As documented before, the island of Ambergris Caye and specifically San Pedro Town is experiencing ongoing community spread of the disease. While it remains unclear where the actual source of the current infections came from, for practical purposes the following three clusters are being followed closely now:
San Pedro COVID-19 Clusters Linked To Nightclub, Church And Construction Site
Ministry of Health has just updated activities related to the three active COVID-19 clusters in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Each cluster has identified a common source where infection started and the spread continued thereafter. Cluster #1 is linked to activities at Allure Nightclub; Cluster #2 is related to Living Word Church and Cluster #3 is related to workers from Medina’s Construction Site.
Caye Caulker Faced With First COVID-19 Case
A total of 144 samples have been processed throughout the day. There is a total of 23 new positive cases with a preliminary breakdown as follows:
- 1 case in Caye Caulker (with no apparent link to any previously identified case for now)
147 people arrested for COVID-19 Emergency Violations this past weekend
Over the weekend 147 people were arrested and charged countrywide for various offenses under the Emergency Powers Regulations:
Failing to wear a cloth mask or other face (mouth) covering whilst in public- 124 people.
Breach of curfew- 18 people.
Failing to practice social distancing- 2 persons.
Unable to provide reasonable explanation or proof for movement outside of curfew-1 person.
Failing to wear a cloth mask or other face (mouth) covering during public transportation- 1person.
Kept business establishment open when required to be closed- 1 person.
Various Belizean Sources
Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
Tuesday, August 11th, Meal pick ups.
Location: FOOD REPUBLIC.
Village: 11:00am - 11:45am.
Bahia: 11:45am -12:30pm.
Summary of Statutory Instrument No. 111 of 2020
TO WHICH PARTS OF THE COUNTRY DO THE NEW REGUALTIONS APPLY?
The new Regulations/SI relates specifically to Ambergris Caye, Santa Martha Village, Shipyard Village and Guinea Grass Village.
CAN I TRAVEL TO ANY OF THESE VILLAGES OR TOWNS?
X No. Under these news regulations, no one can enter or exit any of the aforementioned villages or towns, unless you have the specific prior approval of the Ministry of Health, National Security - and only in an emergency.
IS THERE A CURFEW IN THESE VILLAGES AND TOWNS?
Yes. The curfew begins at 8:00 p.m. and ends at 4:59 a.m. This means that you cannot be outside your house or on any public road during these hours, unless you are on duty as a member of the security forces, Customs and Excise, Immigration Services, a frontline health care worker or an essential worker who has been issued a badge by the Minister responsible for National
Essential Worker Awards
BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS: Ms. Lorna Perez, Surveillance Officer and Dr. Javier Canul, San Pedro Polyclinic. We also acknowledge the runner ups who will be continue to go over and beyond. Thank you to the BTB staff for this award activity, we truly appreciated it.
ADJUSTED OPENING HOURS - 12TH TO 31ST August 2020
ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES REGISTRATION OFFICES
The Elections and Boundaries Department hereby notifies the general public of the adjustment in opening hours for all Elections and Boundaries Registration Offices countrywide. This adjustment is only for the period 12th to 31st August, 2020.
This adjustment in opening hours to the public has become necessary to facilitate requests for perusal of binders.
Adjusted Opening Hours:
MONDAY’S TO THURSDAY’S,
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Elections and Boundaries Department regrets any inconvenience this adjustment may cause.
Updates on Activities Related to Three Clusters of COVID-19 Case
The Ministry of Health continues with its contacts mapping and tracing exercises, as it aims to identify and contain the current spread of COVID-19. cases.
As previously documented, the island of Ambergris Caye and specifically the town of San Pedro are experiencing a continuous community spread of the disease. While it's still unclear where the original source of current infections came from, for practical purposes, the following three clusters are now closely following:
• The first patient related cluster #57 has so far identified a large number of cases. In this particular cluster, the Ministry can now confirm that 42 % of active cases on the island are related to activities at the Allure disco that took place between July 16 and 19 Anyone who has been in these activities and has symptoms should call 0-800-MOH-CARE.
Employee Assistance Programme Teletherapy Service
Summary of Belize’s Controlled Repatriation Process
FLOOD REPORT AND FORECAST
Monday, August 10, 2020
This is our data for today.
A total of 144 samples have been processed throughout the day.
We have a total of 23 new positive cases with a preliminary breakdown as follows:
- 3 cases in Belmopan (2 are linked to the previous identified positive case in Belmopan and the other case is linked to San Pedro)
- 1 in rural Corozal with apparent link to San Pedro
- 2 cases in Orange Walk (1 from Santa Marta and 1 from Orange Walk Town linked to a previously identified case).
BELIZE FISHERIES DEPARTMENT
Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing
the Transmission of COVID-19
The Fisheries Department would like to inform the public of its new procedures regarding services to the public in light of the national COVID-19 situation. Effective August 11, 2020, the Department will not be issuing any licenses until further notice. However, online applications will be received for a period of one month (August 11- September 10, 2020). The public is also informed that the marine reserves will be closed to visitation until further notice.
Ministry of Health Condemns Stigmatization of COVID-19 Patients
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health that many persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and as well as persons who may have been in contact with them are being stigmatized and discriminated physically and emotionally, including through social media platforms.
The Ministry of Health recognizes that it is not only the virus that we must protect ourselves from but also fear, rumors and stigma. The psychological damage caused by stigmatization may be greater than the physical symptoms experienced by the illness and it can have an impact even after recovery from those symptoms.
Caye Caulker Raffle Fundraiser
This raffle is a second fundraiser for Miss Heni Heredia, an instrumental part of the Caye Caulker Community who is in need of urgent surgery. You can purchase tickets from Seni Smith, Nicki Aguilar or Kristel Aguilar if you wish to support a good cause.
Aaron Hendrix passes away
SPHS would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Aaron Hendrix. He was assistant coach to the basketball teams from 2001-2003. May his souls rest in peace
Mrs. Norma Lara passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Lara family on the sad and sudden passing of Mrs. Norma Lara.
We hope her family and friends find the strength in each other to overcome this great loss. May her soul rest in peace and rise in glory.
Malaria Elimination initiative
Indoor Residual Spraying for the Malaria Elimination initiative has started targeting the high risk communities in the district.
In the next coming weeks, Communities such as Trio, San Pablo, Swasey, Red Bank, kindly expect visits from our trained team.
THANK YOU ROTARY CLUB OF COROZAL
The management and staff of Corozal Community Hospital would like to thank Rotary for their valuable donation of a 40 ft. container of items. Items include microscopes, beds, gurneys, crashcarts, cpap, infusion pump, goose lamps, washer, dryer and refrigerator. These will be used between CCH, Chunox Polyclinic and San Narciso Polyclinic.
Psychosocial Packages Distributed
On Monday, 10th of August 2020, the Vice-Chair of the SISE CAB Technical Steering Committee Mr. Abdel Cowo, Mayor Earl Trapp Jr, Councillor Vanessa Neal and Councillor Bernadette Fernandez assisted the CAB President Lea Gonzales (who was not present but represented by the Vice-Chair Abdel Cowo, due to COVID19 caution) with the distribution of a few Psychosocial Packages that were provided by the Ministry of Local Government in collaboration with the SCFM Partners, through funding from UNICEF, to support our efforts to mitigate the psycho-social impacts caused by covid-19 on some of the most needy families and children in our Municipality.
The goal of the project is to conduct an assessment based on a highly participative approach that should look into the pillars of sustainability, while also identifying current good practices and high priority destination risks that will be reflective in a Visitor Management Action Plan Report.
Mask Regulation in San Pedro
We want to clarify that the wearing of face masks is required for everyone in public. If you are in a vehicle alone or with members of your immediate family masks are not required while in the vehicle with the windows closed. People on golf cart type vehicles are required to wear masks.
SHYNE BARROW CELEBRATES 16th ANNIVERSARY OF CLASSIC #1 BILLBOARD ALBUM!!!
By Shyne Barrow
16 years ago on August 10, 2004 I released the number 1 Rap/R&B album on the Billboard charts!
I find it strange the people that talk about my 1 mistake I made 21 years ago always leave out my great unprecedented accomplishments!
People will call me a deportee but forget to call me a Grammy award winner, they always forget the number 1 billboard album, the number 2 billboard album, the tens of millions of albums sold.
The Maya natives of today, inhabitants of the Yucatan Peninsula, assure that Yum Cimil, Lord of Death, goes around the rooms of the sick to take them away. This was the ancient Lord of the Underworld, who was called Yuum Cimil, also known as Ah Cimil, Kisin (the stinking one), and Hun Ahau. The Maya represented him as a skeleton or a skeleton with the face of a jaguar or owl, from his body you could see the ribs and the spine without meat; that is, only the bones were appreciated. But sometimes his body was covered in flesh, bloated flesh filled with black circles caused by decay.
Belizeans on Edge Waiting on COVID 19 Testing Results
When we left you Friday night there were 144 confirmed cases of CORONAvirus; tonight there are 154 after a weekend when less than 20 tests were processed as the testing units were re-calibrated.
And, sometime tonight - the numbers could soar - because 300 tests were processed today - and we are now awaiting the results.
So, looking at the overview, up to last night there were dozens of cases coming out of San Pedro - where there is community spread, and also a small number of cases appearing in San Ignacio and Belize City, with increasing cases in Orange Walk..
San Pedro, the Eye of the COVID Storm
But, for the time being, the centre of the spread is San Pedro town. And, today the ministry of health said it had tracked that island town's numbers to three clusters. The first cluster is related to patient #57, an expatriate female who was infected many persons. A release says, out of the cluster, 42% of the active cases on the island are linked to activities at the Allure Nightclub from July 16 - 19th. If you were there and have symptoms, you are urged to call the Ministry of Health hotlines.
Fishing Tournament Was Not Super Spreader
And while those are the locations that spawned the major clusters on San Pedro, the Grand Caribe Fishing Deep sea Classic Tournament that happened on the 18th and 19th of July was not, after all, a super spreader event.
"We have not been able to ascertain that that was a super spreader event. I think we are linking more to patient number 57. That fishing tournament was more than 3 weeks ago. We are looking at events primarily over the last 7-10 days..."
Five San Pedro Officers Tested Positive For Covid 19, 9 More Showing Symptoms
But, the police department in San Pedro has been experiencing its own kind of outbreak. Five officers have tested positive for COVID 19, and another 9 are showing symptoms.
Toady, we spoke via video conference to the officer commanding about it:
Supt. Chris Noble, OC, San Pedro:
"We have 5 infected, 3 are on the island, 2 are off the island. They were symptomatic, they are now asymptomatic and I have 9 more that presented flu symptoms, 3 presented flu symptoms today. We had 6 that presented over the weekend. We have isolated all officers."
Infected Pharmacist Speaks About Symptoms
And, back to San Pedro, this weekend, Carlos Novelo, a pharmacist in the town, provided some insight into what it is actually like to manage the painful symptoms that come with COVID-19.
Several days ago, he tested positive with the virus, and to raise awareness about the virus, he decided to publicize a series of testimonials on his Facebook page. Novelo urged his social media followers that his decision to do this mainly to help in the education of the general public. He is hoping to help convince everyone to follow the Health Ministry's advice of regular hand-washing, properly wearing face masks, and practicing social distancing.
Police Relax Lockdown Regs For Guinea Grass And Shipyard
Among those sick with COVID are the residents of Guinea Grass and Shipyard. Both villages have been locked off according to protocols meant to mitigate the spread, but news tonight is that they aren't locked off from each other.
There are also reports that residents of those villages who were away when their communities were locked down have been allowed to return, seemingly exposing themselves at their own risk. And this morning we asked Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Myvette whether there was any validity to those reports.
Mother Of Three Was Found Slain and Buried, Boyfriend The Culprit
A 41-year-old mother of three was found dead this weekend.
Guatemalan national Julia Milian Moran went missing at the end of July and was found in a shallow grave on Saturday, 9 days later.
Her boyfriend, who initially accompanied her sister to file a missing person's report, later led police to the shallow grave where her body was found.
It's a disturbing story with more than one twist and one that Julia's family is still trying to comprehend. Cherisse Halsall reports.
GSU Runs Over and Kills Homeless Man
Tonight, a police constable is facing a charge of manslaughter by negligence after he allegedly ran over a Belize City man on Saturday, just before midday.
Police have identified the victim as 68-year-old Calvin Wright, who is originally from Morning Glory Street, but area residents tell us that they've spotted him behaving as though he is homeless. He is known to wander around the city, and at around 11:30, on Saturday morning, Wright was on Morning Glory Street, and multiple accounts say that he was somewhat in the road.
Cops Runs Over and Kills Man Sitting In Street
Police Constable Terrence Sutherland has since been criminally charged for this fatal accident. This morning at a police press conference, the Deputy Head of the National Criminal Investigation Branch shared what their investigation into the case has revealed so far:
Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch:
"On Saturday the 8th day of August, 2020, around 11:30am P.C. Terrence Sutherland was driving a police mobile on Morning Glory Street in Belize City when he ran over a male person who was seated on the road..."
Broad Daylight Armed Robber In Bmp Central Site
It's the second robbery this year for a centrally located Belmopan grocery store. It happened on Sunday morning at around 10:00 when a man wearing a camouflage jacket and a motorcycle helmet held up the store owners for cash and a cellphone. But it was far from a perfect crime with every moment of it recorded on security camera.
ACP Joseph Myvette - Head, NCIB:
"Sometime around 10am a slim built male person wearing a camouflage jacket and a reflective vest and a motorcycle helmet entered the establishment and thereafter pulled out a handgun and demanded money..."
Nazarene Church Emblazoned With Graffiti
And while the capital has been getting its share of robberies. It remains a relative stranger to gang activities.
But that could all be changing as this weekend one of the City's most visible and popular churches was tagged with MS13 gang signs.
City Man Chopped To Head While He Slept
But the shocking acts didn't stop with the weekend. And early this morning 37-year-old Trevor Gill was chopped to the head while sleeping in his nephew's home. This morning the cops couldn't tell us whether Gill was the target or whether this was just a case of mistaken identity. But ACP Myvette told us that, despite a huge chop to the Head, Gill is stable.
"He reported that he was sleeping at a friend's house on New Road and at some point a male person entered the house and inflicted the injuries to him. The male person thereafter fled from the area. Trevor Gill is in a stable condition. No suspects at this time."
Dinsdale Won Fantasy Five
Another Belizean has won Fantasy 5, and as a long-time fan of the game, he's now 173 thousand dollars richer.
Exactly a week ago, another Belizean won the 300-thousand-dollar jackpot, and so, no one was expecting another winner so quickly. But, Dinsdale Smith continued to religiously purchase his fantasy 5 tickets, and this morning, he got a massive pay-day.
Phase Two Of Unemployment Relief Rolls Out
The Government of Belize is getting ready to start vetting applications for the second round of aid to needy Belizeans under phase 2 of its Unemployment Relief Program.
The application portal opened up a week ago, and 49 thousand persons have already applied.
To provide an update on the program, and to answer a few of the frequently asked questions, Dr. Carla Barnett, the Labour Minister of State who is in charge of the roll-out, appeared this afternoon on Ask the Experts.
Here's her outline of the current state of affairs:
Working Out The Bugs With Online Applications
The Government's online application process for the Unemployment has been mostly successful, since a vast majority of the applications were completed electronically.
But, the Minister also discussed a few of the technical problems they've been encountering with errors and glitches that have unfortunately come with a mostly-online process:
Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett - Minister of State, Labour, Local Government, Rural Development:
"There are 2 issues. 1, the singular one that we get the most notifications, requests, asking for help is where people are getting a message that says their number is already in the system, when they've already filled out their application, and think that they're inputting it for the first time..."
If You Haven’t Gotten Your Benefit Yet...
A few of the applicants from the first round made sure to ask Dr. Barnett about the beneficiaries who have still not received their money under the first phase of the Unemployment Relief program. She said that a number of them should have received their money today:
"All have still not been delivered. On my way here, I was checking on it, and there's the last batch of quite a few hundred that are being delivered today, and that should be last of it for the top-up cards. And that should be the last of the transactions on phase 1. We're trying to tie that up, to finish that up, finally in the next few days. And that should be the last of it for the top-up cards, and that should be the last of the transactions on phase 1. So, we're trying to tie that up finally, over these next few days."
Helping Out Small Enterprises
A number of questions were asked about the Government-aid program for micro, small, and medium business enterprises. The Barrow Government is seeking to provide relief to those businesses which have been directly impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
But, since there are multiple options being presented, the BELTRAIDE wanted to clear up any confusion, or misunderstanding that prospective applicants may have about how it will work.
Here's an excerpt of a conversation between the Ask the Experts Host and Dr. Leroy Almendarez:
Mental Health Assoc. Calls For Forensic Unit, Urgently
On Friday's news you heard about Nigel Ferguson, who allegedly threw boiling water at a police Inspector who was trying to get him to use a mask.
Ferguson's cousin explained that he's mentally ill, and has been acting out recently - threatening to harm family members and their property. She said police had beat him, and intended to charge him. Well, he didn't appear in court today, but the Mental Health Association says the incident, quote, "underlines the urgent need for a Psychiatric Forensic Unit in Belize. ..He is frequently violent, and the family cannot deal with him in a manner that keeps him and the public safe.
UB Union Calls For Delayed Start Of Semester
The University of Belize's Faculty and Staff Union is demanding that the semester start date be rolled back to September 7th. They are concerned about teaching assignments and workloads that have yet to be settled, about the lack of infrastructure to facilitate the move to online classes, and about uncertainty with regard to the future of units and departments. That along with the University's suggestion's that certain key Union members voluntarily separate from their posts in a move that could be deemed union-busting. And as tensions rise at UB the 2020/2021 academic year rests in the balance.
Port of Belize Back To Bargaining Table with CWU
This morning, the Christian Workers Union began negotiations with the Port of Belize's management on behalf of its members who are staffers at the Port.
A week ago, the PBL and the CWU finally signed a collective bargaining agreement to cover the working conditions and benefits that the stevedores will enjoy as waterfront workers. That agreement marked history and the end of 16 years of open hostilities between the Port's Management and the Stevedores.
And, before we leave tonight, we note the passing of Sergeant of Police, Gino Peck. The 48 year old who was a 29 year veteran of the department who died on Saturday due to complications of stomach cancer.
Peck never led the department or reached the senior command, but was one of the most respected cops we've known.