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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

Minister of Health Pablo Marin shoots intruder at his residence

San Pedro is Belize Too: Islanders unite online to demand more from local and national authorities
Residents of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye are rallying online for change and fairness from the Government of Belize (GOB). The island is the only municipality in the country which continues lockdown because of COVID-19, and residents are alleging there is little to no support from GOB. With the collapse of the tourism industry, islanders seek to negotiate with the government to kick back some funds into the local economy, better allocations for Ambergris Caye, and to put a robust mechanism in place to properly screen persons traveling to the island.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Flood Forecast for August 28, 2020
River Conditions: REGION 7 - On the RIO HONDO at Blue Creek and downstream at Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Roman, and Douglas levels are above nonnal and steady. On the NEW RIVER at Tower Hill and Caledonia levels are above normal and falling. REGION 9 - On the MACAL RIVER, reservoir levels are below the spillways at Chalillo Mollejon and Vaca facilities. At San Ignacio, levels are below the low-level bridge and falling. The MOPAN RIVER at Benque Viejo Town is above normal receding. On the BELIZE RIVER, levels at Banana Bank and Double Run are above normal and steady. On the CROOKED TREE LAGOON levels remain below the causeway and steady. ..

COVID-19 Update
This is our data for today. We have 52 new positive cases in 333 samples processed today. The preliminary breakdown is as follows: Cayo District -5 (Armenia, Yalbac, Belmopan) Orange Walk District - 14 (San Pablo, San Jose, Trial Farm, San Felipe, Yo Creek, San Estevan, August Pine Ridge, Orange Walk Town) Belize District - 15 (Belize City, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Biscayne) Corozal District - 18 (Corozal Town, Caledonia, Libertad, Xaibe, Chunox, Libertad, San Narciso) We have 39 recovered cases.

Ministry of Public Service and Belmopan City Council Sign MOU for Public Service Walk of Recognition and Inspiration
On August 26, 2020, Dr. Peter Allen, CEO of the Ministry of Public Service, and Mayor of Belmopan Khalid Belisle signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of the Public Service Walk of Recognition and Inspiration. Amid COVID-19, the 2020 Public Service Awards Gala was cancelled. Instead, the Public Service Walk of Recognition and Inspiration has been created to achieve the same goal of the gala to recognize innovative and dedicated public officers. Located on the walkway beginning on the west Ring Road between the Belize Bank and Angelus Press and leading up to the stairs of the National Assembly building, the Walk will serve as a public pillar and potential framework for economic and social development in the City of Belmopan.

University of Belize Faculty & Staff Union Reject Labour Bill 2020
The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union joins the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in rejecting the Labour (Amendment) Bill 2020. It is our view that the Bill is generally stacked against the employee and in favour of the employer. This cannot stand. At this time, in the midst of a global pandemic when employees throughout the country are particularly vulnerable, the UBFSU implores the Government of Belize to refrain from taking any action that will erode employees’ legal rights and further destabilize their job security. Sections of the bill that afford employers broad discretionary powers threaten to do just that.

BEL Vacancy for Loss Reduction Representative
A vacancy exists for the post of Loss Reduction Representative I in the Metering & Loss Reduction Unit of the Distribution Services Division (Belize City) of Belize Electricity Limited.

BEL Vacancy For Apprentice Lineman
A vacancy exists for the post of Apprentice Lineman I in the Distribution Operations Department (Belize City) of Belize Electricity Limited.

BEL Vacancy for Administrator
A vacancy exists for the post of Administrator, Executive Services in the Executive Services Department (Belize City) of Belize Electricity Limited.

Call for Events
Do you have an activity or event you would like to be featured in this year's September Calendar? Contact the National Celebrations Commission by Monday to have it included!

Virtual Art Exhibit
Are you a visual artist? Would you like to be a part of our FIRST EVER Virtual Art Exhibit?! That’s right! We will be highlighting the work of some talented young Belizean artists soon, and we need your help finding them! If you are a painter between the ages of 15-29, email us with a copy of your bio and some photos of your work. Make sure to submit by September 9th! Help us spread the word guys!

A Nukuch Tat with his offering of Sakab
The Nukuch Taato'ob (Balamo'ob) are respected guardian Spirits between the Yucatec Maya of Belize. For gratitude and respect the Yucatec Maya of Belize give them offerings . Traditional offerings include Sakab , Balche' (Holy wine) and Ch'ookob (Holy food) . In recent times offerings of tobacco and sweets have been included . Others when getting medicinal plants, simply ask the Nukuch Tato'ob for their permission and blessings.

Channel 7

Minister Marin Killed Burglar
This afternoon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a virtual press conference on the latest with COVID-19. Normally, he would have been flanked by Pablo Marin, the Minister of Health, but today, Marin was otherwise engaged; he was at the Corozal police station, being interviewed by police investigators about the alleged burglar he killed last night. A burglar broke into his home in Corozal last night, and Marin says that he was forced to defend life by shooting the assailant with his licensed weapon.

PM Stands With Minister
Knowing that the press was going to ask about it anyway, Prime Minister Dean Barrow opened his virtual press conference by briefly discussing what he knows of the fatal shooting. The PM says that Marin has his support: "Of course, the police are conducting an investigation, after which, as I understand it, their report will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, for her determination. All I will do this afternoon is to express my utter and complete solidarity with my colleague, Mr. Hon. Pablo Marin."

A New, "Firm" Date For Airport Opening
And, turning now to the main, COVID-related subjects coming out of the Prime Minister's press conference, the biggest announcement today was the opening date for the Phillip Goldson International Airport. First, it was scheduled for August 15, but a spike in COVID cases cancelled that; and then it was tentatively set for September third, but, again, COVID made that impossible. So, now, the date is October first and that PM swears that this date is firm:

Rapid Testing Paves The Way To The Future
And a part of that clear headed-ness about October first is what seems to be an excessive amount of confidence the Prime Minister is putting in a new type of testing module called the Antigen Rapid Test from Abbott labs. It promises cheap and fast testing and the US company has been approved by the FDA for for productions of tens of millions of tests. For the PM, the advent of this creates all kinds of opportunities, both for Belizeans and tourists - and it was the centrepiece of his presentation today. Today, he explained how the use of the rapid test in Belize will make for faster turnaround times for those whose samples are taken using the biosensor antigen rapid test:

Testing Tourists In A Different Way
And while that is the biosensor test, the PM believes that the advent of the Abbott test should make it easier for testing when overnight tourists start arriving in October, and even when cruise visitors start arriving: "So American tourists and Belizeans coming back from the States should have no trouble bringing an Abbott test with them. This thing is so portable. I don't want for them to test in the States and then bring us the results of their 15 minute Abbott test. I want them to bring the test and have the test administered right there at the airport so we can see..."

Quarantine Requirement Eased For Belizeans
And while those visions of an overnight and cruise tourist comeback are perhaps slightly fanciful, there's legit good news from Belizeans repatriates coming back from the United States. Presently when they return, they have to go on a costly 14 day quarantine in a hotel. That measure was introduced when Belizeans had a few dozen COVID cases. But now we have 870 going on a thousand - so is it really fair to ask them to pay for quarantine when most of them will test negative for COVID, which is widespread right in this community?

Man Dies Of Bee Stings In The Deep Forest
73-year-old Roy Martinez died early this morning while undergoing treatment at the Western Regional Hospital. The Bulldozer operator who works for a Gold Mining Company in the Chiquibul had been attacked yesterday by a swarm of killer Bees. And by 1:30 this morning when he finally arrived at the hospital he had entered a semi-conscious state. We note that the mining operation is deep, deep in the forest and many hours away from any medical care.

Political Tension and Intensity: The Last Days Of The Transfer Period
Tonight, there is only one day left in what may be the last transfer period before the next general elections. We say "may be" because no one knows for sure when the general election is. So, while the period could be extended depending on the date set for the election, as of right now, its pencils down for the political operatives on the ground whose mission for the last two months has been the rounding up and registering of every willing voter they could find.

Family Carjacked By Cross Border Bandits
Cross border bandits fired on police and BDF last night - as they recovered a vehicle that had been stolen. Events started to unfold around 07:30, when 44-year-old Byron Manuel Guevara, a Guatemalan farmer from Bullet Tree ran to the village police station. He told police that he and his family, including his wife and three kids, aged 3 to 13, were in his 1985 Toyota pickup on the El Pilar Road when three men emerged from the bushes, with their shirts tied over their faces. Each carried a firearm, and they forced the vehicle to stop; one of them demanded the farmer's money and the vehicle.

COMPOL On Guat Border Jumpers
The press also asked the Police Commissioner about the 2 Guatemalan border jumpers, 42-year-old Alfredo Colon and 38-year-old Junior Espinosa, who were both were caught by police on the waters of the Stann Creek district on Tuesday morning. As we told you, police officers from the Intermediate Southern Formation received information of vessels arriving with in-country with contraband goods. So, they went to the Old Forest Dock near Mango Creek, to intercept the boats.

The Days of Diego’s Life
The press also asked the COMPOL about the troubled days of Police Constable Reginald Diego. As we told you, Diego has been charged for extorting an American man for not wearing a mask. Shortly after getting bail for that charge on Wednesday, Diego was accused of going to People's Store in Orange Walk Town, where he allegedly shoplifted a Smirnoff and a Belikin Beer.

The Investor Who Came On The Plane
Who came on the mystery plane out of Saint Luis, Missouri in the USA on July 10th? That passenger then went on to San Pedro for business. The press has been after this information for a month - but it's been closely guarded by the Civil Aviation Department. And, it seems even the Prime Minister had to drill down to get the info. We wanted to ask him about it at last week's press conference but we were shut down by the moderator after only two questions. Today, one of our colleagues did ask, and here's what the PM disclosed:

52 More COVID Positive
The latest COVID numbers were also discussed at today's press conference. A record 333 samples were processed and there were 52 positive cases coming out of that. So, we now have a total of 870 cases, with 765 active cases. Dr. Russell Manzanero gave a breakdown of which communities those 52 positive cases are coming out of: "Yesterday in itself we had fifty two new cases. So I'll break it down by how they came in. for Corozal we have eighteen new cases, in Caledonia five. Libertad and Corozal Town two. Chan Chen three, Xiabe three and Chunox one. In Orange Walk District we have fourteen..."

Alarming Number Of Frontline Workers Positive
And while it's good to hear of so many recovered, we know there are many also in the COVID unit at the KHMH. For their families it is a scary and sad time - and that family includes the medical community since a 42 year old doctor from the western region is among them. The Director of Health Services discussed his case among the dozens of front-line healthcare workers who have been infected:

Better Masks for Frontline Workers
The CEO in the Ministry of Health also discussed the large number of infected amongst front-line workers and proposed new measures to protect them: "We basically are looking at the 28 healthcare workers now on the 26th and a total of 38, 36-38 and also with law enforcement we have 42 but I just want to empathize that it is not the doctors, it is not the nurse, it is the lab technician, it is the pharmacist, it is the receptionist, it is the administrator, it is the lab technician, the public health inspector..."

CEO Says COVID Supplies Enough For 9 Months
Doctor Gough also discussed the availability of those masks and supplies in general: "When it comes to the PPE suits, the ones that you see in the full white, we presently enjoy an inventory of about 100,000 in country in our warehouses and we have about 15,000 still coming from an IDB subsidy, not to say that we are going to be issuing them recklessly or irresponsibly. When it comes to the gowns for example, I am also glad to say that we have more than 34,000 of blue ones which are the sterile ones and we have over 20,000 of the non-sterile ones and we have a total of about 75,000 still coming into the country. When it comes to the masks, like the one I am wearing, we presently enjoy close to a million in the warehouse and I have close to about 700,000 coming in the next few weeks..."

Finally, Bonus For Frontline Workers
And, the Prime Minister announced that there is more relief for front-line workers, because a long delayed and much discussed bonus is on the way "The bonus package for the frontline workers in the ministry of health, this was a bonus package that we had promised some time ago, we are finally looking to get it together, the position is being sorted out between the ministry of health and the ministry of finance."

QOTB, Virtual Style
Tomorrow is the 75th Annual Queen of the Bay pageant. And this year, Belize's oldest pageant is going to be very different. That's because it's going virtual, streamed online and voted on via digicel texting votes. But while there won't be a roaring crowd you can still expect all of the usual Pomp and circumstances that makes the Queen of the Bay the pageant of the September season.

Run Di $150!
So far in the news tonight, you've heard a whole lot about the airport, rapid testing, and other COVID news. But what thousands of unemployed people out there want to know is when is the second tranche of the COVID unemployment relief coming through. It's $150.00 which may not be a whole lot - but for those who have lost their jobs and have no income, it is plenty. And while the relief program was announced weeks ago, for most, the money can't reach yet. The Prime Minister apologised today:

San Pedranos Demand An End to Lockdown
Today, San Pedro residents haled a virtual protest using their facebook feeds to demand that they come out of lockdown. They jammed the comments section of the stream of the PM's press conference saying they are San Pedro strong. Now, the island still has a high number of active infections but the PM says they won't be locked down much longer:

GDP Contracted 23%; PM Expected Worse
The Prime Minster also discussed the high contraction in the GDP in the second quarter. It was 23%. The PM said he thought it would be more:

The Saga Of The Big Creek Tug
And, the Prime Minister's press conference today ran for two hours and thirty three minutes. It covered a broad range of subjects including the sage of the Big Creek tug - of which 5 crew members came back COVID positive from Honduras. Here's the report:

Channel 5

Health Minister Pablo Marin Shoots and Kill Suspected Burglar
There is a lot to cover tonight from the re-opening of the P.G.I.A. to the use of rapid tests coming out of a lengthy press conference with Prime Minister Dean [...]

PM Barrow Stands in Solidarity with Cabinet Colleague
The file of the fatal shooting of Matura will be sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution for determination.  Minister Marin did not offer any comments today, [...]

PM Addresses Backlog of COVID Test Results
Turning to COVID-19…the frustrations shared by many who have had to be swabbed and tested for COVID-19 include the lengthy waiting time for results to be made available.  With the [...]

Government Considers Rapid Tests as an Alternative to PCR
The use of rapid tests has up until now proven fairly unreliable, despite the quick turnaround time for results to be made known.  Consequently, the Ministry of Health has relied [...]

PM Barrow Looks to Abbott Labs for an Answer to Rapid Tests
On Thursday, the United States announced that Abbott Laboratories has commenced trials for its rapid coronavirus test to determine whether it could effectively be used on asymptomatic people.  This followed [...]

36 Healthcare Workers Infected with COVID-19
As to the patients, three are on ventilators at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A doctor from the Cayo District, the ministry’s epidemiologist from the Western Health Region, is intubated [...]

P.G.I.A. Set to Reopen on October 1st
The other big news out of the PM press conference is in respect of international travel.  A fixed date for the reopening of the Phillip Goldson International Airport has been [...]

Abbott Rapid Tests to be Used at P.G.I.A.
As of November twenty-second, Delta Airlines will resume flights to Belize.  According to PM Barrow, the use of the Abbott Rapid Test should simplify the process of verifying one’s health [...]

Patient 12 Died of a Heart Attack, Due to COVID-19
The twelfth person to die from COVID-19 was a man from the Mennonite community in Indian Creek Village, Orange Walk.  Sixty-year-old David Wall began to experience breathing problems before he [...]

52 New Cases of COVID-19!
Belize has registered eight hundred and seventy cases of the novel coronavirus. Seven hundred and sixty-five are active cases – three hundred and thirty-two are females and four hundred and [...]

COVID-19 Samples Backlog Cleared
During the press conference today, Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero confirmed that the Belize Central Medical Lab has caught up with backlogged samples.  And as reported, rapid testing will [...]

Frontline Workers Will be Tested
Public officers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 will also be tested as required, that’s according to PM Barrow, who emphasized earlier today that government’s resources, in respect [...]

Enough Test Kits and Supplies to go Around at M.O.H.
From rapid testing to the inventory at the Ministry of Health.  The number of testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment for medical personnel on the frontline of the [...]

M.O.H. is Capable of Conducting up to 26K COVID Tests
The present supply of resources available to the Ministry of Health can last up to nine months; that is with M.O.H. sharing drums of hand sanitizers and other items with [...]

Armed Robbery on the Calla Creek/Santa Rosa Road
Byron Manuel Guevara, a farmer in Bullet Tree Village, reported to police that armed robbers held him at gunpoint on Thursday night just after seven o’clock on the Pilar Road, [...]

Two Guats and One Belizean Detained in the South!
Two Guatemalans, who were picked up in the south earlier this week, were placed in a quarantine facility. Thirty-eight-year-old Junior Espinosa and forty-two-year-old Alfredo Colon were detained when they entered [...]

A Stabbing in Belize City
Two men were involved in stabbing incident on Thursday in the incident. Preliminary reports say that the incident happened between a step-father and step-son. The step-son reportedly got into an [...]

PC Reginald Diego in Trouble with the Law Again!
Corozal policeman Reginald Diego is in trouble again with the law. As we reported on Tuesday, Diego was arrested and charged for the crime of extortion. He met bail and [...]

150 People Charged for Failure to Wear a Facemask in the Span of 3 Days
On Thursday we told you about the lifting of the lockdown in Guinea Grass, Ship Yard and Santa Martha. As you know, police officers were critical in helping to maintain [...]

Elderly Woman Succumbs Days After She Was Cut to the Throat
Two men have been charged and arraigned for the murder of Rosa Chinchia. On August seventeenth, the fifty-nine-year-old was cut to the throat by a twenty-five-year-old man who asked to [...]

Tensions and Threats on the Mesop Campaign Trail
It wouldn’t be election season without tensions between opposing political candidates. As you know, campaigns are in high gear and transfer close on Monday so political candidates are rushing to [...]

What’s Up with Foreign Exchange and the Economy?
Earlier this week, the Statistical Institute of Belize released its latest figures on the performance of the economy.  The past three months have been dismal, to say the least, as [...]

G.O.B. Follows W.H.O.’s Guidance, No Lockdown of O.W.
With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the north, will the Orange Walk and Corozal districts face a lockdown in the days ahead?  That notion is frowned upon by [...]

No More Lockdown for San Pedro When S.O.E. Expires
In San Pedro, meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases is at a plateau and all indications are that the state of emergency on the island town will be lifted on [...]

Elderly Man Killed by Bees in the West
An elderly man is dead after he was stung to death by bees. Seventy-four-year-old Roy Martinez, a bulldozer operator, was working in the Chiquibul area when he was attacked by [...]

Amandala

New SI ends Orange Walk lockdown
For weeks, the communities of Santa Marta, Guinea Grass and Shipyard of the Orange Walk District, as well as the entire town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, have been under a strict lockdown due to the spike of COVID-19 cases originating in these areas. With the passing of Statutory Instrument No. 122 of 2020, however, these areas, with the exception of San Pedro, are no longer under complete lockdown after weeks of laments by the residents in these areas of the hardships they were experiencing as a result of being cut off from the rest of the country.

COVID-19 update
The surge in COVID-19 cases continues; as of yesterday, Wednesday, August 26, 30 new cases were confirmed, taking the total tally in the country to 760. Of the 760 confirmed cases, 695 are currently active, and 54 persons have recovered.

Cop charged for extorting American who was not wearing face mask
An investigation into an alleged act of extortion by a police officer, led to charges being brought against Constable Reginald Diego, Jr., 39, of Libertad, Corozal District, who is attached to the Orange Walk police. He has been charged with extortion and has been detained pending arraignment in court. The incident for which he was charged occurred on Sunday in Carmelita, at the police checkpoint near the Toll Bridge on the Philip Goldson Highway.

Pastor pleads guilty to theft
Pastor Roberto Ruiz, 49, a pastor of San Ignacio who was charged with three counts of theft, pleaded guilty to the charges yesterday in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. His guilty plea was accepted, and he was fined $1,500 for each count, which resulted in a total fine of $4,500 plus $5 cost of court. Ruiz must pay all the fines by March 20, 2021.

Bryan Guzman, 20, remanded for shooting taxi driver
Bryan Navid Guzman, 20, a laborer of Hillview, Santa Elena, who allegedly shot a taxi driver during an attempted robbery of the cab driver, has been remanded until October 29 on charges of attempted murder and attempted robbery. The cab driver, Jerison Ramirez, 21, of Bullet Tree Falls, has since been released from the San Ignacio Community Hospital.

Chinese businessman remanded for possessing firearm while under the influence
Yinghui Zhen, 32, a Chinese businessman of a Central American Boulevard address, has been remanded until October 5, on charges of possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and refusing to provide a blood sample for analysis. Zhen was taken yesterday to court, where he appeared before Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, who read the charges to him, and informed him that bail could not be granted for the offense, and directed him to apply to the Supreme Court for bail.

Police officers deliver baby girl at police station
Police at the Mahogany Street Police Station delivered a baby girl on the porch of the station at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Paramedics and the BERT ambulance later went to the police station and took the baby and her mother to the hospital for examination, and both have been released and are at home.

Corporal Elton Elijio released on bail
Yesterday, Corporal Elton Elijio, of the Dangriga police, who was charged with possession of a firearm while under the influence (of alcohol), and driving under the influence of alcohol, was remanded in the Magistrate’s Court until September 23. Today, however, his attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, was successful in his bail application before Justice Antoinette Moore, who granted him bail with certain conditions after property documents were presented on his behalf.

38 lbs. of weed, and ammunition found
Thirty-eight (38) pounds of cannabis was found on Linda Vista Street, in the Lake Independence area, this morning by police. Police said that the cannabis was found in 18 packages in a bag hidden in the bushes. At the time of the discovery, no one was in the area, and no one has been arrested for the drug.

Editorial: Our authorities have not explained
Since there is almost no way in Belize to get to the bottom of anything when the ruling party wants to keep things under wraps, and the main opposition party is not too interested, we can only speculate on the main source of the COVID-19 virus that is now loose in the country. There has been a serious spike in cases of the disease, and people have died, people are lining up to be tested, and staff and space at our main hospital are severely strained. A month ago we appeared to have everything under control, then things fell apart. The government owes us a full explanation of what caused us to suffer this serious outbreak. Belizeans have every right to be disappointed, because so many are doing all they can to help our country avoid another extremely costly lockdown.

Popular artist saves the day with an easel!
Highly acclaimed Belizean painter, Alex Sanker, took social media by storm on Tuesday, August 25. The enraged artist went live on his personal Facebook page after fighting off two would-be robbers who were violently assaulting a tamales vendor. Sanker heard the commotion outside while painting in his art studio, and he immediately sprang into action. He grabbed a used easel and proceeded to fight off the two young men with it.

Belize’s indigenous communities suffering the most during the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic has affected every facet of our lives: the way we interact, travel, do business — even the way we eat. Admittedly, the newsreels have been dominated by urban-centric narratives of long ATM lines, crowded food distribution stops and images of an undisciplined populace who are not complying with the public health measures, but what about our rural communities?

Belize’s economy contracts for 5th consecutive quarter, this time by 23.3%
On August 26, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released its report on economic activities for the month of July 2020, the period April to June 2020, and the seven-month period, from January to July 2020. As expected, the news is not good; in fact, it is bad, about as bad as we have ever seen it. Belize’s gross domestic product (GDP) was down by $169.9 million (23.3%) in the second quarter of 2020, when compared with our output in the second quarter of 2019. Our domestic exports for July 2020 were down 37.3% or $17.2 million when compared with exports for July 2019, and our total merchandize exports from January to July 2020 were down 13.1%.

A new health policy under the PUP
Yesterday, Wednesday, August 26, the People’s United Party, through a virtual broadcast, launched the second phase of their manifesto, better known as “Plan Belize,” in which a policy for health reform is proposed for the country. The virtual rollout featured a number of PUP stalwarts and experts providing insights on the current status of the country’s healthcare system, as well as on the challenges being faced within the healthcare sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the Publisher
While I was studying at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire between 1965 and 1968, I visited the small city of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, for a spring break. It was a 1500 mile automobile trip from New Hampshire to Wisconsin during the spring break of 1967. The winter weather was bad, dangerous. We negotiated a ride from Dartmouth as far as Chicago, if I remember correctly, I’m not sure. From there, or maybe somewhere in Michigan, we hitch hiked the rest of the way. I was travelling with my then best friend, a big, football-playing white guy named Steve Cline, and we passed through Chicago and Detroit on the way back, where I visited the late Dr. Neil Garbutt, who was studying at Wayne State in Detroit at the time.

A 1970s flashback on Inter-District football – the match that wasn’t played
It was sometime around the middle of last year, shortly after renowned midfielder Rudolph “Peru” Olivera returned to the Jewel and was featured in an Amandala story, that a post-game discussion/argument erupted among some fans at the MCC over which opponent Stann Creek had faced in that epic 1972 Inter-District final, Orange Walk or Corozal, when Peru had “struck twice” in the last five minutes of the game to secure the victory and the championship for Stann Creek. It turned out that there were two such dramatic championship finishes for the Stann Creek team, the other being two late strikes by left winger Dean Lewis in 1977, with the legendary Garrincha Adderley recording the assists on both occasions.

We shouldn’t be thinking too much about September celebrations
About this serious increase in COVID-19 cases in our country, our authorities can say, “we told you so; we warned you”, and we could say, “well, yes, but you opened the bars, and you gave the green light to the parties, and yes, you opened the churches so they could carry on with their high-spirited praising.” We let down our guard, and now the virus is so dispersed everywhere that it could be labeled endemic. We have heard people who caught the disease say how hard they tried to prevent catching it, so we know how difficult it is to stay safe. This disease, it’s like trouble.

Are we better off since Independence?
Usually, around this time, the country would be abuzz — as it was last year. People would be hustling and bustling in a flurry of movements to get into the celebration mood. The towns and cities would be intricately and ceremoniously draped in national paraphernalia that would put on display and promulgate our sovereign nationalism. The various radio stations and media outlets would be engaging the national populace in the usual “Tenth” songs that reverberate deep in our bones. A host of activities would be planned and would be getting underway; but instead, there is simply no feeling of joy or elation that “September is around the corner.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and the scheduling of general elections in Belize
As we approach the constitutional deadline for general elections in the context of a national state of emergency, the question arises as to whether a national State of Emergency can be used to justify a delay in the scheduling of general elections beyond the constitutional deadline. The question gives rise to constitutional issues and requires an appreciation of the provisions in the constitution governing the dissolution of the National Assembly and the scheduling of general elections thereafter.

LOVE FM

PM says BEL is not ripping off consumers
Consumers across the country have been complaining about inexplicably high electricity bills since the start of the pandemic. Belize Electricity Limited has gone on record more than once ensuring Belizeans that more persons staying at home equals more electricity being consumed.

MOH breaks down recent covid-19 cases
The Ministry of Health announced fifty two new cases of covid-19 in Belize. At today’s press conference, Dr Russel Manzanero gave a break down of the new cases as well as the numbers in terms of deaths and those who have recovered.

Online classes and the vocational studies
While online classes will be the way to for the next few months there are some classes that would prove difficult to be carried out online. Some of these include vocational studies like welding, cooking and technical drawing. These are the classes that will be the exception to the rule providing that the social distancing protocols are adhered to. Chief Education Officer Dr Carol Babb spoke on this issue in yesterday’s edition of Ask the Expert.

Man killed by bees
An elderly man of Blackman Eddy Village, Cayo District lost his life after he was attacked by a swarm of bees. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

PGIA set to reopen on October 1
The Philip Goldson International Airport is now set to reopen on October 1. The previous reopening date of August 15 was postponed after there was a rapid increase in confirmed cases of covid-19.

Health Minister shots and kills burglar
Minister of Health Pablo Marin is in the news tonight after being the victim of a home invasion last night. The 52-year-old Government Minister was at home at around ten thirty last night when he heard noises in the lower flat of his house. He made checks and moments later came face to face with a robber who had ransacked his home. Minister Marin fired a warning shot followed by two more shots that injured the intruder. He was notably absent from today’s press conference with the Prime Minister.

Meet the Queen of the Bay delegates
The five Queen of the Bay delegates are set to take the proverbial stage tomorrow. We say proverbial because seventy fifth Queen of the Bay National Pageant will be held virtually in order to maintain safety protocols to mitigate the spread of covid-19.

DHS says stop politicizing health of citizens
The Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero has called the statements made by a medical doctor as unfair and erroneous. Earlier this week Dr Victor Rosado spoke on the current situation in Belize’s health sector as part of the PUP’s health plan and brought harsh criticisms against the country’s health system.

Renovations completed at WRH
Renovations have been completed at the Western Regional Hospital and a new Covid-19 Centre will be opened shortly. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz has that story.

An accurate rapid test for covid-19
Belize currently uses the PCR and GeneXpert methods of testing for covid-19. While reliable, these take a significant amount of time to process the result.

Frontline health care workers to get care package from government
The government has promised frontline health care workers a care package, and this will come in the form of an ex-gratia payment. CEO in the Minsitry of Health, Dr George Gough explained more about this.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Pablo Marin: “I had no choice but to defend myself”
The last word, for now, on Thursday night’s events in Corozal Town comes from Pablo […]

Belmopan City Council: All employees test negative for COVID-19
Last week, the Belmopan City Council informed that as a preventative measure, it had sent […]

Doctor from San Ignacio intubated at KHMH
Today, during a virtual press conference, Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero informed that […]

Health officials monitor 765 active cases of COVID-19
Health officials in Belize are currently monitoring 785 active cases of COVID-19 The country has […]

Pine Lumber Company “turns ordinary into extraordinary”
The Cayo-based company Pine Lumber Company Limited is almost as old as Belize is, having […]

Prime Minister expresses “solidarity” with Pablo Marin
Prime Minister Dean Barrow opened this afternoon’s briefing with a note of “solidarity” with Minister […]

No state of emergency extensions, P.M. expects
The national State of Emergency regulations expire on September 3 and Prime Minister Dean Barrow […]

Second round of Unemployment Relief Program begins Monday
With apologies from the Prime Minister, payments through the National Bank of Belize Limited for […]

We are giving our best, says P.M. of health system
Responding without political rancour to the assessment of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) that […]

Putting in backstops for false results
Prime Minister Dean Barrow discussed how testing backstops will be put in place moving forward. […]

Ministry of Health: 52 new cases of COVID-19 identified
The Ministry of Health informed that of the 333 samples processed today, 52 new cases […]

PGIA to re-open October 1
The government now plans to re-open the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) for other returning […]

Prime Minister: We are working on reducing backlog for testing; rapid tests will now be employed
As of this weekend, says Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the backlog on testing at the […]

Dr. George Gough says Belize “comfortable” with COVID-19 supplies
CEO in the Ministry of Health Dr. George Gough has been stockpiling supplies for hospitals […]

UN chief calls for sustainable recovery of tourism from COVID-19
Launching a policy brief on tourism and COVID-19, Secretary-General to the United Nations Antonio Guterres […]

UB Faculty and Staff Union joins in rejecting Labour Amendment Bill 2020
The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union ( UBFSU) issued a statement saying that it […]

Man shot dead in burglary of Minister’s residence named
The man accused of burglarizing the residence of Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, in Corozal […]

Three armed thieves hold up and steal vehicle from farmer and family
Police are investigating a report of an armed robbery that occurred last night on the […]

Police: Health minister Pablo Marin shoots and kills home intruder
Health Minister Pablo Marin shot and killed an intruder who attempted to steal from his […]

Belize’s border could remain closed for remainder of 2020
Officials of neighboring Chetumal, Quintana Roo are concerned about the continuous closure of Belize’s border, […]

Tropical Storm Laura leaves over 47,000 people without electricity
More than 47,000 people were left without electricity this morning as Tropical Storm Laura moved […]

Family fight in Belize City leaves one injured
One is stable and another being sought by police after a reported domestic incident on […]

Minister of Health reportedly shoots and kills home intruder
Minister of Health Pablo Marin, a resident of Corozal Town, appears to have reportedly shot […]

Family ambushed on El Pilar Road
Police are investigating a reported robbery of a Guatemalan farmer and his entire family on […]

Belize Emergency Response Team goes beyond WHO health guidelines to protect patients and staff
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline healthcare workers has been widely reported over […]

Blogs

End of Third Week of Total Island Lock-Down #2 on Ambergris Caye
We have been doing our best to abide by the rules set down by the Government of Belize. Only head to town for essentials during non-curfew hours. But stay at home as much as possible. Our COVID positive numbers are still rising…but it isn’t only this island. Cases and unfortunately deaths have been moving up. We have had no big official national announcements during this time – no mention of a re-opening or if the restrictions will continue when this State of Emergency ends officially on September 4th.

International Sourcesizz

Mexico could keep Belize border closed for remainder of year
In what the Belizean authorities are calling “not very encouraging news”, the neighboring country could keep its borders closed for the rest of the year. President of the National Chamber of Commerce and Tourism of Chetumal, Jaime Mingüer Cerón, says that the economy for the state’s capital city is already going through a crisis and is on the verge of collapse since more than 50 percent of visitors arrive from Belize.

Prime Minister of Belize’s Briefing: International Airport to Re-Open October 1, 2020
Here is what you most want to know: THE PGIA RE-OPENING is OCTOBER 1, 2020 Complete confidence that the flow thru the PGIA (International Airport) will be ready. American Airlines will fly to Belize 5 days a week – every day but Tuesday and Thursday. United will fly to Belize on October 1st – every day. Delta to come mid-November. THIS WILL NOT CHANGE BARRING A HURRICANE because the ABBOTT test will be a game-changer – DON’T BRING RESULTS – BRING THE TEST! This new Abbott rapid should also mean that cruise ships should be easily able to test and get running in 2020.

Sanctuary Belize Execs Face $120M Judgment In Scam Suit
The operators of purported luxury development Sanctuary Belize will have to pay more than $120 million in addition to facing bans from certain business sectors after a Maryland federal judge ruled Friday that they had run a real estate scam that swindled American consumers.

Caricom with over 20.490 Covid-19 cases
The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is close to exceeding 20.500 Covid-19 cases, as 15 member states are reporting active patients in their hospitals. According to the regional site Caricom Today, six member countries of the community bloc exceed a thousand patients with Covid-19. Only Anguilla, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Monserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis show control in the spread of the pandemic.

World Bank Provides US$8 Million to Strengthen Agriculture and Food Security in Belize
Belize will strengthen its response to the socioeconomic hardship caused by COVID-19 with a US$8 million reallocation of funds from the World Bank to support the country’s agricultural sector and improve food security in the context of the pandemic. The program will benefit more than 8,700 agricultural households in the country. “Agriculture is essential to support lives and livelihoods in Belize, particularly during this challenging period. This financing will assist farmers who have been affected by COVID-19 and drought and increase farmers’ ability to provide food for the nation,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.

Celebrating the gentle giant, the Whale Shark
Key stakeholders from across the globe working on the conservation of the endangered species ‘Whale Shark’ came together to commemorate International Whale Shark Day which will be observed on 30 August. Sixteen years after pioneering a deep dive into a whale shark conservation, Wildlife Trust of India and its partner Tata Chemicals Limited have much to celebrate with the Gujarat Forest Department and the fishing community living along the coast of t...

Videos

  • Prime Minister's Virtual Press Briefing, 2hr38min.

  • WEBINAR: “Risky Business": Risk Planning and Financial Recovery Post Covid-19, 1hr52min. Join Dr. Carla Barnett, Dr. Leroy Almendarez of Beltraide, DFC and QSSI as we discuss the financial road to recovery for the Hospitality & Tourism sector. Explore the plans, support systems and facilities in place to help navigate these challenging times.

  • The Ministry of Health advise people to self quarantine if exposed to Covid-19, 1min.

  • Queen Kim has a message requesting information about any families that might need feeding assistance, 1min. The Colorado community outreach program is collaborating with the SISE Town council and myself to provide grocery assistance to families in need. Kindly private message me @Kimberly Santos if you know of anyone in need.

  • Meet the Delegates of the National Queen of the Bay Pageant 2020, 4min.

  • Sperm whale spotted today about 2.30 pm, 1.5min.

  • Mahogany Bay Resort, Belize, 10min. My visit to Mahogany Bay Resort in Belize