And as a part of her many duties Lisa Tillet-Moyer recently spent two weeks on the frontline of the COVID epicentre in San Pedro. She told us how deeply impacted she was by the situation on the island.
Lisa Tillett, Senior Health Inspector, Belize District
"Honestly I've been in the job for 20 years and it's the first time I have ever been so touched and it was an experience beyond. I can't explain it really because you have to put everything in place you have to put the public health part, you have to put the humanity part so it was really overwhelming in San Pedro, you know the first couple of days like maybe the first 5 days the flu clinic was extremely full. Sick people, if not 90% of the persons that were swabbed they were symptomatic they had all ranges of illness and we had some who have overwhelming like you know they really needed the doctors attention so out in San Pedro it was really, really rough."
"So that was for like the first 5 or six days then after that we started having smaller numbers but the reason why the numbers were small is because let's say you get tested for patient x but when you look you now have patient X,Y,Z now getting positive but you already did a test because of one patient so you don't have to do it for the other three or four persons that you have contact with."
"The most troubling for me was the over crowdedness because like people would call like when we call and tell them oh sir I just want to check up on you so how are you doing and then because you know we have to be human to people because that's mostly what they need from us and then we go and say of, how many of you are in the house, how can we assist you by health education and stuff in the house? Then you hear oh there's eight of us in the house we have maybe one bedroom, two bedrooms, so the overcrowding is a problem."
An entire building on the island has been dedicated to the purposes of a flu center. Patients who arrive there are triaged in order to determine whether or not they need to be swabbed.