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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

U.S. Government Delivers Disaster Response Supplies to NEMO
On August 20, the U.S. Embassy delivered disaster response equipment and supplies valued at over U.S. $88,000 to Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in a handover ceremony at the NEMO Warehouse in Ladyville. Major Matthew Adams, U.S. Embassy Belmopan Office of Security Cooperation Chief, represented the U.S. Embassy when handing the items to Retired Lieutenant Colonel Shelton Defour, who received the goods on behalf of NEMO.

Ministry of Transport Addresses Public Transportation Reports
While the Department has increased monitoring and has mandated bus companies to increase cleaning efforts in response to the COVID-19 threat, the Ministry of Transport and National Emergency Management and the DOT have been receiving reports that public transportation operators including drivers and conductors along with travelling commuters are not adhering to the Regulations. Bus drivers, conductors and passengers are not wearing their masks when travelling in the buses, or in some instances, they are not properly worn. It has also been reported that in some instances sanitization of hands or of the buses is not being done.

Agreement signed between the Government of Belize, the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries, and Oceana to Support Gillnet Fishers to Transition to Alternative Means
In a demonstration of its commitment to sustainable fishing, Dr. Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, for and on behalf of the Government of Belize, entered into an agreement with the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries and Oceana.

Ambergris Today

UPDATE FROM PM PRESS CONFERENCE
1. The Ministry is proposing that preschool and primary schools reopen Monday, September 7th, and Secondary schools on Monday, October 5th for DISTANCE LEARNING only. No decision for face to face learning as yet 2. Physical workbooks will be developed and distributed to students 3. The first month of this teaching approach will be utilized to assess the students 4. Ministry of Education will be distributing digital learning devices to secondary level students in need and will be working with Digi to provide free internet access, to allow for online learning..

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

U.S. Government Delivers Disaster Response Supplies to NEMO
On August 20, the U.S. Embassy delivered disaster response equipment and supplies valued at over U.S. $88,000 to Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in a handover ceremony at the NEMO Warehouse in Ladyville. Major Matthew Adams, U.S. Embassy Belmopan Office of Security Cooperation Chief, represented the U.S. Embassy when handing the items to Retired Lieutenant Colonel Shelton Defour, who received the goods on behalf of NEMO. “Hurricane season reminds us that even as the United States and the Government of Belize focus on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Belize, we must also work together to prepare against the threat of natural disasters,” Major Adams declared...

Flood Forecast for August 21, 2020
REGION 7 - On the Blue Creek sub-catchment of the RIO HONDO at Blue Creek and downstream at Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Roman. and Douglas levels are above normal and steady. On the NEW RIVER at Tower Hill and Caledonia levels are above normal and steady.

COVID-19 update
This is our data for today. A total of 272 samples were processed yesterday with 41 positive cases as follows/ Cayo - 9 (4 in Belmopan) Belize - 23 (15 in San Pedro) Orange Walk - 7 Corozal - 2 We have 5 recovered cases (2 in OW, 1 in Corozal, 1 in San Pedro, 1 in Belize City).

Electronic Submission of All Social Security Claim Forms
The public is hereby informed that due to the rising threat of COVID-19 to our staff, customers and their families, effective immediately: 1. Physical claim forms are no longer accepted at any SSB Branch Office. 2. All Benefit Claim forms (e.g. sickness, injury, maternity, funeral, retirement, survivor's, etc.) accompanied by proof of banking information and salary record from employers MUST be sent ELECTRONICALLY to [email protected] A scanned copy or clear picture of the completed claim form is required...

*PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS*
1) Preprimary and Primary schools will commence on September 7 with paper-based distance learning. Assignments are to be picked up from designated spots to be determined by individual schools. 2) Digital devices will be sourced by the Ministry of Education to facilitate as much of the students as they can for online learning; arrangements will have to be made through the schools and will have a minimal cost to have the text books uploaded onto the device. It is yet to be determined whether the devices will be on loan or for keeps ...

Belize Fisheries Department Construction of Fisheries Docking Pier Bid of Tender
Construction of a 100 ft x 8 ft docking pier at the Belize Fisheries Department compound in Belize City. The project also calls for the construction of a shed (25' x 8') at the end of the pier as well as loading and unloading platform to be included for easy access to load and unload cargo from vessels on both sides. In addition, lighting along the pier and on the shed is to be included. This project is being funded in partnership between the Government of Belize and the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) under the project entitled "Improving the management of Marine Reserve Network".

Updated Plans for the Reopening of School: Frequently Asked Questions
1. When will schools reopen for the 2020-21 school year? The Ministry of Education has made the decision to reopen schools for distance education only on the following dates: Preschools and Primary Schools: Monday, September 7, 2020 Secondary Schools: Monday, October 5, 2020

Fisherman charged with nearly 50 lobsters within Half Moon Caye Natural Monument by Belize Audubon Society’s Ranger
On Monday August 17th, 2020 at approximately 2:30 am Belize Audubon Society’s Park Rangers detained one fisherman from Chunox Village, Corozal District who was found fishing within Half Moon Caye Natural Monument. The individual was found in possession of forty-nine (49) whole lobsters of which ten (10) were lobsters with eggs and eight (8) were lobsters with spawn.

BTIA TRAINING WEBINAR
In an effort to assist our stakeholders to improve their abilities to survive, adopt and overcome the negative economic impacts of the pandemic we will be offering a webinar titled: Building Resilience for your Business during COVID-19. Key workshop areas will include: -Finance -Humane Resources -Asset Management -Target Markets -Products & Services

"Aqui esta mi Tuuch enterado"
When babies are born in the Yucatec Maya tradition, the grandmother is who normally cures the baby's Tuuch (Belly Button). The Yucatec Maya of Belize have a tradition that when the Tuuch is cured, it is taken to the bush and buried. It is believed it will help the child to be brave in the future. The bush is a sacred space where the Yucatec Maya normally do milpa and rituals to honor the Yuumstilo'ob.

Channel 7

No Lockdown, But Added Social Controls To Slow Infections
The Prime Minister held a press conference today to discuss the rising number of COVID infections. Tonight, Belize stands at 648 confirmed cases, which marks a 1,350% increase in the last three weeks. For some, the numbers and the daily rate of infection scare lockdown, but - citing advice from the World Health Organization - the Prime Minister today announced that he is not ready to go there - not yet, at least: "Total lockdowns are not recommended by the WHO because of the economic and social devastation that such lockdowns caused. So, I am fortified in my own thinking that we pretty much at all cost want to avoid anything like a total lockdown. I want to express the hope which is not just a pius or idle hope, based on all that I've just said that we can ultimately contain this new surge or these new surges."

School Will Re-Open On Sept 7th, No Face to Face Instruction
As you heard, those measures will be in place for two weeks starting on Sunday, August 23rd. They will be fully detailed tomorrow night in another Saturday night edition of "Ask The Experts". And while many openings are being restricted, pre, primary and secondary schools will have their own kind of opening. Pre and primary will open on September the 7th but there will be no face to face instruction, distance learning only. The Minister explained: "This afternoon I am proposing that we attempt to start in terms of the re-opening of schools for distance education only on Monday, September 7th, 2020. Again, this is for distance only for pre-schools and primary schools. For secondary schools, we are proposing the date of Monday, October 5th. These proposed dates are for distance education only. The official start date for those students approved for doing home-schooling is Monday, September 7th."

GOB Will Provide Tablets For Secondary Schools
And while that paper solution is the plan for primary school distance learning, the plan for secondary schools is much more ambitious. It involves the acquisition of computer tablets for students, and teaching their teachers how to conduct remote learning on mobile platforms. A giant leap, and it has to be made by early October. Here's the broad outline: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "At the secondary level, which we have indicated will reopen Monday, October 5th; distance education will be done primarily online. The Ministry of Education will be distributing digital learning devices and electronic text books to all secondary school students who not have access to those resources..."

COVID Cases In your City, Town and Village
And while those are the major announcements coming out of today's press conference, the Director of Health services also discussed the latest numbers. He began with the samples which were processed yesterday: Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services "We have 272 tests done. Out of those we have 41 samples as positive, 2 in Corozal, 7 in Orange Walk. For the Belize District we had a total of 23 with 15 being in San Pedro. 8 in the rest of Belize District. The Cayo district had a total of 9, with 5 in San Ignacio and 4 in Belmopan.

100 Returned Today, Complaints Of Crowd Chaos
And those numbers may go up, because 98 repatriates returned today, the largest number to return in a single day. And by the account of at least one traveller, it was a mess. This repatriate sent us pictures and called the scene "Out of order" and disorganized. The traveller also pointed out, no social distancing was being done. Today, Manzanero discussed the large number of repatriates and a change in the testing protocol:

Port Authority Calls On COMPOL To Withdraw Charges
You've heard the Comptroller of customs complain about the criminal charges brought against Jr. Officer Deon Castillo. He's the customs officer who signed off on the departure of the Big Creek tugboat A.J. Ellis's trip to Honduras. He was charged with abetting that vessels exit from Belize. As we told you there were also charges for an Immigration Officer and a Port Authority staffer who all signed off on the voyage. And tonight the Belize Port Authority has put its voice into the fray denouncing the charge against Young in the strongest possible terms and calling on the Commissioner of Police to withdraw the charges forthwith.

PM Says Hands Off Criminal Charges Against Public Officers
It's a huge mess: the Police Department charging public officers at Customs, Immigration and the Port Authority. So, will the Prime Minister intervene to try and have the charges removed? That's what the press asked him at today's press conference: "I can't, I don't see how I can, the police commissioner has preferred charges, that is now a matter before the courts..."

PM Says Guinea Grass Lockdown Being Looked At
The Prime Minister was also pressed to comment on the ongoing lockdown of the villages in the Orange Walk District. Shipyard, Santa Marta and Guinea Grass have been locked down for two weeks, and are now facing two weeks more. As you have seen for the past two nights, villagers have been protesting this extended lockdown, and today the Prime Minister said it is under review:

Responding To Quarantine Complaints
The Ministry of Human Development and social services says ample food packages have been distributed to all the villages under lockdown. And keeping it in Orange Walk, last night, we told you about the family of 7 from Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District, who say that they've been unfairly subjected to a quarantine period of 42 days and counting. 2 of those family members have been accused of border jumping, and because they initially tested positive for COVID-19, they were all detained for quarantine purposes. Now, a border jumper is supposed to spend only 14 days in quarantine. But in this case, some mix-up happened, and so, this family of 7 ended up spending 26 days additional days in quarantine. And they're still there!

Now OCED Is A PhD
Changing gears now... For 3 weeks, Assistant Police Commissioner Dr. Richard Rosado has quietly taken the lead at the Police largest formation, the Eastern Division, where he's the officer in command. He took over from ACP Alden Dawson, who was one of the 3 senior cops sanctioned for the Gang Suppression Unit's provocation of the waterfront workers during their protest on the compound of the Port of Belize last month. So, Dr. Rosado was selected in a hurry as the senior cop to take Dawson's place. He hit the ground running and today, he granted us an interview to discuss what his management style will look like as the head of the Eastern Division.

"Prison Chance Mi Man"
Tonight, a resident of the Stann Creek District is speaking out against the Belize Central Prison in what she is asserting is ill-treatment of her common-law husband, who is currently on remand in jail. He's 27-year-old Phillip Bowen, one of 2 people who police charged back in June for the double murder of 55-year-old Quentin Espinosa, a Belizean divemaster, and the 70-year-old American, Roman Burley. On May 22nd the bodies of both Espinosa and Burley were found on a property on Hopkins Road. Both had been shot to the head.

PM Says No to FFB Conference, FFB Still Going Ahead
In his press conference today, the press also asked the Prime Minister about this weekend's congress that the executives of the Football Federation of Belize have scheduled for tomorrow at the San Ignacio Hotel in San Ignacio. It's to elect a new executive of the FFB, but, as viewers are aware, it is currently illegal for any gatherings bigger than 10 people, since it can pose a public health risk. We have seen a letter from members within the community who have strenuously requested that the congress be postponed, given the ongoing spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. And, when the press asked the PM about the FFB's insistence to host this event tomorrow, he made it clear that the Government isn't going to allow it:

TD 14 Will Sail By Belize, Forecasts Say
Last night, we told you about Tropical Depression 14. That's the storm that formed several days ago off the coast of Nicaragua and quickly began gaining strength. Forecast models were suggesting that could make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, which meant that Belize, specifically the northern districts, would have been experiencing tropical storm force winds and large volumes of rain. Well, the updated information on this storm suggests that its path has shifted a bit more east, which means Belize may not be as heavily impacted, as was initially feared. But, you should still prepare for bad weather, related to this system's outer bands.

From Quarantine to Kolbe For Big Fred
Earlier we told you how one Blue Creek's family's quarantine ordeal may be coming to a quick end, but things won't go so smoothly for the other accused border jumper, Alfred Usher. Since Monday, he's been complaining that his quarantine in Orange Walk was unfairly extended to 21 days. As we told you, the 56-year-old Belize City resident was picked up in Orange Walk Town by cops who say he had 4 cartons of Sunny cigarettes, which are contraband goods.

Groceries Going To Lockdown Villages
And in another update to the Orange Walk situation generally, the CEO in the Minister of Human Development Judith Alpuche did give a detailed response to the complaint that enough food relief is not being funnelled into lockdown communities. Here's here breakdown of the numbers: "We certainly have done near 200 packages in Santa Martha and that as I understand covers almost the entire district..."

A Soldier-Doctor’s Tale
Like those lockdown communities, we all know about the COVID 19 disease, but what about the social sickness, the stigma? Tonight a BDF Doctor is speaking out about that stigma. As we told you last night Dr. Rahleel Jammal Elijio remains in quarantine after becoming one of the six BDF soldiers to receive a positive test. Yesterday in a Facebook post announcing his status the doc wrote, quote: "The stigma and discrimination that comes with Corona does not aid in the healing process of anyone infected.

Kia, Call It A Comeback?
And for some lighter news now, we'll take you on a test drive. Car dealer Belize Estate today launched its 2021 Kia Seltos. It's an attempt to bolster the Kia brand - which - to be kind - doesn't have the most sterling reputation in Belize. Jules Vasquez got behind the wheel to see if the Seltos is a slump-breaker:

Gob Negotiates Gillnet Ban
The Government of Belize has successfully negotiated a ban for gillnet fishing in Belize with the NGO's: the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries, and Oceana Belize. The agreement was finalized yesterday between Dr. Omar Figueroa, the Minister of Fisheries and the Environment, and representatives of the two organizations. This agreement will see support for gillnet fishermen, which will allow them to transition to alternative income-generating opportunities, and to support them in the voluntary surrender of gillnets. There is a transition program that will be implemented for a planned phase-out of gillnets.

Numb to The Numbers, But Not The Suffering
And as we close tonight, we take a slight look back at the COVID craziness of the past five months. It has literally turned all our worlds upside down - as we have gone from a first shocking case which paralysed the nation with fear, to now, 648, and rising fast, a nation numbed by the skyrocketing infection rate. But, we can't be numb to the suffering, to the fact that many are literally living hand to mouth, and that's on a good day!

Channel 5

Curfew Adjusted as of Sunday
COVID-19 continues to spread across the country so additional measures to stem the spread will come into effect as of Sunday and will last for two weeks.  Legislation to enforce [...]

No Private Parties or Outside Visitors Allowed
The new curfew hours will apply throughout the week and along with the additional measures that will be implemented as of August twenty-third, is a ban on private entertainment.  Visitors [...]

Private Businesses to be Scrutinized for COVID Regulations Compliance
The transportation industry, which includes buses and water taxis, will also be heavily scrutinized in the days ahead to ensure that passengers adhere to the regulations that are in place. [...]

Gyms to be Closed During Two-Week Period
Among the many cases of COVID-19 infections is the transmission of the virus from a fitness trainer to a client.  With this in mind, the DHS has also recommended the [...]

Are Bars Playing Tricks with Their Licenses?
Admittedly, the PM says that the situation involving bars is rather tricky since a majority of these establishments operate under a public and a special license, which allows them to [...]

New COVID-19 Restrictions are Really Old Ones
The restrictions that are set to come into force on Sunday morning are in fact limitations that were already in effect in the previous states of emergency and will be [...]

A Date is Set for Pre & Primary Schools to Reopen for Distance Learning!
At the press conference, the Ministry of Education announced the dates for the reopening of schools, but for distance learning.  This is where the students will be assigned work, through [...]

8,000 Electronic Devices for High School Distance Education
When it comes to the secondary level, distance learning will commence in the first week of October.  This, according to Minister of Education Patrick Faber, will be done primarily through [...]

6,000 Tertiary Level Students to Get Data Packages for Distance Learning
As you may know by now, majority of tertiary level institutions began distance learning earlier this month and the remainder are set to do so in the coming weeks. So, [...]

Does G.O.B. Have Sufficient Funds to Cover Industries Amid COVID-19 Crisis?
With the recent spike in COVID-19 infections and the economy still stuttering, following the previous three-month state of emergency, is government financially able to sustain various industries, including the agro-productive [...]

41 New Cases of COVID-19!
Out of two hundred and seventy-two samples that were processed on Thursday, forty-one positive cases were identified.  This brings the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to all time high of [...]

PM Barrow Optimistic with Decrease of Daily Confirmed Figures of COVID-19
Even though new measures are being imposed due to the number of cases, as a cock-eyed optimist, Prime Minister Dean Barrow today pointed out that the number of COVID-19 cases [...]

Three COVID-19 Patients Intubated!
Five more patients have recovered from the coronavirus, which brings the total of recovered patients to forty-three.  A sixth person has now been deemed to have died due to COVID-19 [...]

Dr. Marvin Manzanero Explains COVID-19 Testing
At today’s press conference, Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero explained that two platforms are being used for testing, the gene expert and PCR testing. He explained that the [...]

Consideration Being Given to Allow Private Businesses to Conduct Rapid Test
Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed today that there is a backlog of samples waiting to be tested. He says that if the situation worsens, consideration will be given for private [...]

Testing Timeline Changes for Repatriates!
While the Philip Goldson International Airport remains closed to international tourists, it was bustling with activities today.  Just after eleven, one hundred Belizeans came in on a repatriation flight.  After [...]

A Teenage Girl Tests Positive at Dorothy Menzies; but How Did She Contract COVID-19?
There is anxiety at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre tonight as they await results of a batch of tests taken from children at the institution.  One teenager has tested [...]

Belize Port Authority Slams Commissioner of Police over Baseless Arrest
An employee of Belize Port Authority is among several public officers to be arraigned in connection with abetting the departure of a crew of five sailors onboard the tugboat AJ [...]

No F.F.B. Congress on Saturday
There will be no congress of the Football Federation of Belize on Saturday as was initially scheduled.  As we reported on Thursday, concerns were raised by candidates who are contesting [...]

B.D.F. Steps Up COVID-19 Prevention and Control Measures
The Belize Defense Force says that its five COVID-19 positive members are progressing well.  According to Brigadier General Steven Ortega, it remains unclear where the first soldier, who tested positive, [...]

CEMO Prepares for Hurricane Season
The Belize City Council and the City Emergency Management Organization say they have a plan in place for the hurricane season which is now underway.  CEMO will be working with [...]

PM Barrow Responds to the Cries of Guinea Grass Villagers
Today, Prime Minister Barrow responded to the cries of villagers of Guinea Grass in Orange Walk.  Residents have been protesting this week for the lack of assistance from the government [...]

TD14 Doesn’t Present Immediate Threat to Belize
Tropical Depression Fourteen is heading further north and away from Belize. That’s the latest coming out of the National Meteorological Service tonight.  The system is expected to make landfall over [...]

Amandala

Potential hurricane, TD14, has Belize on alert
We are headed into the teeth of the hurricane season, and while everyone is keeping their guard up to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 , the virus that causes COVID-19, our attention has expanded to include a bad weather system in the Caribbean that is headed in our direction. The National Meteorological Service of Belize (NMSB), in its report at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, said the weather system, Tropical Depression #14 (TD14), “was centered near latitude 15.1N, longitude 79.7W, or about 235 miles east of Cabo Gracias A Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border” and it “was moving to the West at 21 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.”

600+ COVID-19 cases confirmed
The persistent call from the Ministry of Health is for all citizens to continue to take all necessary precautions to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. The number of cases of the virus in the country continues to rise — forming an upward curve that is in general steady, with violent spikes every other day. Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Marvin Manzanero, said that, “If you have 30+ cases identified every day, then that curve will be in ascending order. When does it start to plateau? Once you start having less than the average cases that you have had over the last 10 to 14 days”.

Customs officer and Immigration officer arraigned as “border jumpers”
Belizeans were aghast when they learned that five Belizeans left the country on a tugboat en route to Honduras, and that, upon their return, it was discovered that all five members were COVID-19 positive, and that they had not adhered to the proper quarantine protocols. Despite a press release from Big Creek Group (which is the company that employs the men and that sent them on the cross-border journey) in which the company states that they received authorization from all the relevant authorities to send the tugboat to Honduras and that the events which transpired after the men’s return were the result of miscommunication, an Immigration officer and a Customs officer were arraigned this week in Magistrate’s Court for having facilitated the trip.

State of Emergency extended for another 2 weeks
The members of the Senate convened at the National Assembly building on Wednesday to debate a number of bills, with the majority of those bills being related to law amendments that became necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These included the motion to extend the State of Emergency in Belize for fourteen days; the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Amendment Bill, which seeks to expand the offenses for which a magistrate shall not grant bail, specifically to persons found in possession of contraband goods; a Bill to amend the Customs Regulation Act, which seeks to remove the imposition of a fine as a penalty for certain offenses and replace it with mandatory imprisonment...

Belize confirms 5th COVID-19 death
Today, Belize confirmed it 5th COVID-19 death. Reports are that Irus Rose Barillas, a resident of Hope Creek in the Stann Creek District who was in her early 70’s, was taken last week to the Western Regional Hospital, where she started experiencing respiratory problems. Barillas was then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where she was placed on a ventilator, but she passed away this morning.

Belize City traffic officer tests positive for COVID-19
In a Belize City Council press release dated August 18, 2020, it was confirmed that a traffic officer tested positive for COVID-19. According to the release, employees of the council who were in close contact with that officer have been placed in isolation. The release states, “While this officer may not have contracted the virus in the line of duty, we have asked the employees who have had close contact with the employee to go into quarantine for a two-week period.”

PG pastor arrested for having more than 10 persons in church
This morning at a press brief, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams revealed that a pastor in Santa Cruz, Toledo District, was charged for having more than 10 persons in attendance at his church service. According to Williams, there were 16 persons in the church. “Police officers visited the church … 5 minutes before the curfew hour, 8 o’clock p.m., and inside the church were 16 persons, when the law says that the limit was no more than 10. Based on that, the pastor was arrested”, the Police Commissioner said.

Woman’s throat cut when she refused to lend man money
A Guatemalan construction worker, Santos Edwardo Lopez Zepeda, 25, of a Belize City address, was charged for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and harm. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred on Monday, August 17. The victim, Rosa Chincilla, 59, was found with a cut wound in her throat at her residence on Lindo’s Alley.

Editorial: Give di people land fu plant
The strain on our reserves was significantly lessened earlier this week when the foreign holders of the so-called Super Bond agreed to a deferral of the US$13 million that was due. The amount will be tacked on to the capital we owe, to be paid at a later date. Our government justified the request for the relief with the claim of COVID-19 induced financial stress, but the truth is that we would have been scratching around for the funds to meet this obligation even if our economy had not been hurt by the pandemic. Belize has been in recession for about a year now, partly because diseases have decimated our citrus and farmed shrimp, and partly because of the way our government invested our resources.

University of Belize vs UBFSU
After receiving their long-awaited certification, it had seemed that the University of Belize’s Faculty and Staff Union (UBFSU) was satisfied with the progress they had made and were finally receiving the financial data they had been requesting from the school throughout the month of July. On August 10, 2020, however, another issue arose due to the scheduled date for resumption of classes at the University of Belize, and concerns over whether to go fully virtual at the start of the school year.

Standard and Poor’s downgrades Belize’s credit rating
Standard and Poor’s is a credit rating agency that provides a credit score tool that is used by the world to assess the likelihood that certain entities, such as large companies, cities or countries, will repay the loans they received. For the fifth time this year, Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Belize’s Foreign Currency LT credit rating — this time from “CC” to “SD”(selective default). This rating is given to countries that have been classed as borrowers which have “selectively defaulted” on a specific class of obligations, but will keep meeting obligations on other classes of obligations in a timely fashion.

2 negative COVID-19 test results no longer needed
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services, in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations, has said that while previously a person had needed two negative PCR test results in order to be allowed to go back to work, persons whose COVID-19 status was in question or who exhibited any possible symptoms of the illness, will now be allowed to exit self-isolation and return to the workplace and other activities after 13 days if certain conditions are met. That return to the workplace will only be possible, however, if after the first 10 days, he or she has not exhibited any signs or symptoms of the virus, and no fever or respiratory problems appear in the subsequent three days.

Congress members request postponement; FFB Elective Congress still scheduled for this Saturday in San Ignacio
As we go to press this morning, indications are that the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is going ahead with its Elective Congress scheduled for this Saturday, August 22, at the San Ignacio Hotel. With an annual budget in the millions, it is perhaps inevitable that there will be much “politicking” whenever elections are due for the executive of the FFB. With 7 football districts having 2 votes each, and the Premier League of Belize (PLB) with 7 votes, it stands to reason that the aspiring FFB president will seek to have the PLB in his corner.

If we won’t talk, then we must be made to tell
San Pedro should never have gotten away. It has, and our authorities say that contact tracing is of little value now because the disease has spread to too many people. It has gotten so bad in San Pedro that the authorities have cramped the fishing. The story is that only licensed fisher folk are allowed to go to sea, and they can’t go farther than the reef. I read that on the 7News script. We can do better than that; we have to. This is a time when people need the best food, and all the doctors say fish is good to build up our immunity, so the people have to fish. I wouldn’t insist on a license. There are a lot of folk who can handle themselves on the sea but they don’t own a boat.

“Black consciousness in Belize”?
My sister Aria Lightfoot sent me an invite recently to a FB group called “Belize in the Old Days”. People tag me regularly to join various groups on social media, but I hardly ever join. However, I decided to take a look at the group, and a couple of things immediately manifested themselves to me: 1. The group is predominantly made up of middle-aged and older folks who seem to enjoy basking in the nostalgia of a Belizean reality that no longer exists. 2. Some folks who are the product of a colonial education system energetically talk about how happy they were for being raised in Belize, where they were sheltered from white supremacy and racial discrimination.

The financial impact of COVID-19 for veterinary clinics
Dear Editor, The COVID-19 outbreak has affected every aspect of our lives and impacted every sector of business and social interactions. In every region of the world, there has been a significant impact on employment and a downward spiral of the local economy. The harsh reality is that veterinary care is a business, and just as is the case for any other business, clients often provide the revenue for survival.

Resetting the Bulls Eye (II)
Dear Editor: This is in reference to Clinton Luna’s “Col. S.A. Haynes” (Amandala, 8/18/2020], which contains an oft-heard lament that Mayan heroes are “…never officially recognized.” I would urge him to read again the piece I wrote, captioned “Needed: A Bull’s Eye Reset” (Amandala, 7/21/2020), which seems to have jump-started a series of claims and counter-claims between himself and an Amandala columnist.

Stay awake, Belize!
Dear Editor, Last week, at the sitting of the House of Representatives, a Bill was introduced entitled the “Labour (Amendment) Bill 2020”. This (Amendment) Bill in essence seeks “to amend the Labour Act, Chapter 297 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011; to provide for employers to reduce wages where the working hours of an employee have been reduced in special circumstances, to provide for leave of absence without pay in special circumstances; to provide for exemptions from the period of night rest” and for other matters connected to or associated therewith.

LOVE FM

DHS gives an update on recent covid-19 cases
Forty one new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Belize. Five persons have recovered from the virus and there is a sixth death of a Covid-19 infected person.

Orange Walk Villages remain under lockdown
While the country of Belize will be enduring stricter regulations, the three villages in the Orange Walk District, namely Santa Marta, Guinea Grass, and Shipyard, have been facing a total lockdown for the past two weeks.

PM announces stricter regulations
Several new measures are being put into place as at Saturday midnight which will see restrictions on the movements of residents as well as the operations of businesses. One such measure is the curfew which has been adjusted to 9pm each night.

Surviving a storm and a pandemic
14/41 - Boledo lovers would find these numbers interesting as there is Tropical Depression Fourteen out in the Caribbean and Belize latest data shows forty one new cases of Covid-19. We start our newscast telling you about the Tropical Depression Fourteen which is expected to upgrade to Tropical Storm Marco within a few hours.

Minor arrested for not wearing a mask
A 14-year-old girl was arrested and detained for not wearing her mask on August 7. The minor was reportedly buying sweets from a store across the street from her grandmother’s house when she was approached by two officers.

PM explains list of regulations for private flights
Concerns are numerous as they relate to private flights coming into Belize. These concerns were especially highlighted when it was said that a flight in mid-July may have been the source of the one of the cluster of cases in San Pedro.

Residents ill prepared for hurricanes
People who live in the low lying areas and those who are in houses that may not be able to endure a strong storm are the ones who most times are left to seek refuge in hurricane shelters. While Belize will be spared hurricane forced winds and rains this weekend the hurricane season remains open until the end of November and there is no telling what would happen.

Government to expand on programs to assist Belizeans
More money to assist Belize with Covid relief is underway; that is according to the Prime Minister. The announcement came when Love News asked for a current report on where Belize is regarding available funding and the money that has been spent so far.

Staff members at WRH under investigation
A resident of Silk Grass Village says she was shunned and denied treatment at the Western Regional Hospital on Thursday night. 26-year-old Emily Depaz was one of four persons who were involved in a road traffic incident in Armenia Village, Cayo District.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Alleged robber shot dead in Gungulung area
A man was shot and killed a short while ago in the Gungulung area of […]

Tropical Depression 14 strengthens to Tropical Storm Marco
The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on newly formed Tropical Storm Marco. As of […]

Fifteen-year-old girl reported missing in Orange Walk
A mother from Orange Walk has reported her 15-year-old daughter, Shanika Bol , missing and […]

P.M. calls on Central Bank to consider extending deferral of loans
Prime Minister Dean Barrow told us that while he may have missed bringing up with the […]

Government considering re-opening areas on lockdown
Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the Government is carefully considering re-opening any or all of […]

Might private health facilities be called on to assist with COVID-19 testing?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow allowed that he would bring up the issue of asking how […]

A list of revised State of Emergency regulations
The following revisions to regulations under the extended State of Emergency, now in effect since […]

Prime Minister: Regulations tightening, but still no total lockdown
Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he would describe ever-tightening regulations regarding the State of Emergency […]

Patrick Faber: Education, by distance, returns September 7
Minister of Education Patrick Faber says he is proposing that distance education return on Monday, […]

Forty-one new cases of COVID-19 reported
Preliminary data show that 41 of 272 samples taken on Thursday returned positive for COVID-19, […]

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in Florida
This week, state authorities in Florida, USA, approved the release of over 750 million genetically […]

Diabetes Association hosting online educational session tomorrow
The Belize Diabetes Association (BDA) is inviting those living with diabetes as well as members […]

Prime Minister Dean Barrow to host virtual conference to update nation on COVID-19
The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow is scheduled to host a virtual press conference […]

National Emergency Management Organization issues update on Tropical Depression 14
The National Meteorological Services of Belize and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) issued advisory […]

Health officials monitor 562 active cases of COVID-19 in Belize
Health officials are currently monitoring 562 active cases of COVID-19 in Belize. The country has […]

Blogs

The Highly Instagrammable Opp: Swim with Sharks in Belize
Once a common area for fishermen to clean their catch of the day, Shark Ray Alley is now a popular snorkeling site teeming with nurse sharks, rays and marine life. Located inside Hol Chan Marine Reseve, the country’s first established marine reserve, spanning roughly three square miles, this is a perfect half-day activity for all ages: swim with sharks!

Hard Choices Ahead for Tourism-Reliant Caribbean Countries
It’s been a tough time for Caribbean destinations that reopened their borders to international visitors, as government and tourism officials have struggled to contend with the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19. Travelers can expect more such fits and starts as the resumption of travel forces hard choices across the region. The pandemic has placed tourism-reliant Caribbean nations in the problematic position of balancing public health with critical tourism activity. There are simply no easy answers when it comes to a global pandemic that is unprecedented in this generation.

Press Conference with Prime Minister: COVID Cases Still Rising, Distanced Learning Will Begin and No Airport Re-Opening Announced
Today, August 21st at 2pm, the Prime Minister as long as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and our country’s leader held a press conference to announce updates regarding COVID and Belize. On Ambergris Caye, we are currently on day 15 of a mandated 28 “total lockdown” due to the outbreak this month. Update on COVID cases – cases still increasing (52 new cases yesterday now starter to spread country-wide – especially OW, Corozal, CC and AC) and 41 cases today

International Sourcesizz

Dueling Tropical Systems Could Threaten USA -- ON SAME DAY!
For the first time since the Great Depression, it's possible that two tropical systems could make landfall in the mainland United States at virtually the same time.

750 million genetically engineered mosquitoes approved for release in Florida Keys
A plan to release over 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022 received final approval from local authorities, against the objection of many local residents and a coalition of environmental advocacy groups. The proposal had already won state and federal approval. "With all the urgent crises facing our nation and the State of Florida — the Covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice, climate change — the administration has used tax dollars and government resources for a Jurassic Park experiment," said Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety, in a statement released Wednesday.

In a first, two hurricanes could soon occupy the Gulf of Mexico simultaneously
The National Hurricane Center is projecting that two hurricanes — Laura and Marco — will swirl above the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. If this comes to pass, it would be a first in more than a century and a half of record-keeping, and a high-impact situation for coastal residents. Such a scenario would severely strain resources amid an already busy hurricane season, when several Southern states are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. The busy ocean basin is warm enough that it could even support a significant hurricane, though uncertainty abounds in how the storms will evolve. Meteorological history may be in the making, however.

The 14 Best Private Island Resorts
Congratulations to Cayo Espanto Island Resort for being named one of the best private islands in the world by Condé Nast Traveler! Click below to read what makes this Belizean island so special.

Videos

  • Prime Ministers Press Conference, min.

  • Secret Beach & Snorkeling For The First Time| San Pedro, Belize, 4.05min.

  • My aunt and uncle visited Belize in about 1966 from Mississippi, 1min. They documented their trip with a 8mm video camera. Here's footage of arriving at airport, going over Haulover Bridge into the city over Big Bridge and then to the old Grant's House where we lived on Barrack Road.

  • Belize Zoo Keeper Feature, 2.5min. Meet Carlos! Continuing with our “Bringing the Belize Zoo To You” series, we’d like to introduce you to one of our bird keepers, Carlos!

  • Corozal Community Hospital Update, 2.5min. Very important notice to the general public.

  • Corozal Town Council launches e-Public Consultation for tourism-based project in Corozal Town, 8min. Our beautiful town must prepare to overcome the COVID19 pandemic and move forward. In doing so, we must begin to plan and find practical and responsible ways of continuing the development of Corozal Town to create economic opportunities for our residents. In this vein, the Corozal Town Council is considering entering into a formal understanding with Maximum Water Project developers, Belizean investors Marwin Humes and Theodore Pacheco, who want to bring their idea of a world-class inflatable, eco-friendly Water Park to our Corozal Bay.

  • Glazed Out with Chef Sean, .5min. Chef Sean is coming out in a new series called Glazed Out, and it'll be shown on The National Channel. They are still recording episodes - they are shooting some in Cayo next week - so the exact date of release isn't set in stone yet. With Chef Sean at the helm, you know the meals created will be mouth watering.

  • A Maja Karakol Romjai BELIZE., 4.5min.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize 1/4-11/202, 3.5min.

  • Enhancing Sanitization for Belize International Entry and Exit Points, 1min.