Until we get the vaccine, the acting DHS continues to advise Belizeans to follow the safety protocols in place - because they seem to be working.
The number of cases being reported daily has plummeted over the past few months. In the last months of 2020, the daily infectivity rate was surging to as high as 40% - and was consistently over 25%.
But, recently it has been trending down to under 10%, and now, constantly under 5%.
In fact, on Friday, only 5 cases were reported and no deaths. On Saturday, there were 24 cases but it was the third consecutive day with zero deaths being reported. And the information for yesterday and today is showing a cumulative 33 new cases with one death.
But Dr Diaz says don't let your guard down just yet, because as quickly as the numbers went down, they can shoot right back up again:
Dr. Melissa Diaz, Acting DHS
"As soon as the days go by you can have spread occurring and it might take a week or two or even more for us to pick it up. So we are trying to appeal to the general public to ensure that they continue to practice the public health measures that's needed, wearing the mask over your nose and mouth, not doing any non-essential travelling, or movement. The more we move, the more the virus will move. And if at our workplace we follow the public health measures then we will ensure that our colleagues won't get infected as well and once we go at home the hand washing, social distancing and practicing the public measures will also help us to protect our vulnerable population, so the elderly persons with diabetes, high blood pressure etc. So even though the numbers are going down we have not receive our vaccines as yet. We still have over 200 active cases in our community, so it's something that we've got to remain cautious and we've got to not let our guard down at this time."
"The numbers have gone down dramatically since about 2-3 months ago when we were getting cases in the hundreds per day. What are the contributing factors?"
Dr. Melissa Diaz, Acting DHS
"Definitely it has continue to be multifactorial; the public health measures that we keep educating the public about and the public doing a good job at educating each other and reminding each other; the employer at the workplace ensuring that certain things are kept in place; the social distancing, sneeze guards, wearing of your mask over your nose and mouth, face shields if needed. So the reduction of movement as well, the restrictions that came into place by December has also help and of course the increase in testing that has been ongoing for the last 2 months. So rolling out the mobile testing clinics going into companies and doing testing, that has help us to pick up cases as quickly as possible and isolate and manage these cases very quickly."
And while there will still be deaths being reported, Dr Diaz notes that it is possible for cases to remain as minimal as possible until at least 70% of the population is vaccinated.