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Covid-19 UK Variant in Belize #548416
02/26/21 05:11 AM
02/26/21 05:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,843
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) has been working assiduously to protect and preserve the health of the Belizean population. It is in that regard that the Ministry informs the public that it has received 15 of the nasopharyngeal swabs that were sent to Baylor College in Houston for gene sequencing.

All 15 samples initially submitted were processed and sequenced, however, not all resulted in good sequence data. One of these samples was classified as the U.K. Variant also known as the B.1.1.7 lineage or strain 20I/501Y.V1

The U.K. Variant was identified in a man who entered Belize on January 12, 2021, as a member of the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB). He was asymptomatic on arrival.

As a part of the MOHW and BATSUB entry protocol, all troops entering Belize must bring in a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. One hundred percent of the training troops must also undergo a mandatory re-swabbing with PCR on the first day after arrival. Exercise troops must remain in complete quarantine until results are received. This process was precisely followed for the above case. The individual was isolated immediately and remained in isolation for 11 days. He was retested which yielded a negative result. At that time, he joined his battalion to continue with jungle training.

Many other public health procedures were put in place prior to the arrival of the troops and very minimal interaction with the public has occurred.

A further 40 swabs will be reported on in the near future.

The Ministry reiterates that all travelers entering Belize must bring a negative PCR or negative rapid test or be subjected to a rapid test at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport on arrival. The public is strongly advised to continue to properly wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and water, and continue physical distancing.

Re: Covid-19 UK Variant in Belize [Re: Marty] #548454
02/27/21 05:13 AM
02/27/21 05:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,843
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

British Strain Hits Belize, Through BATSUB

Tonight, there's confirmation that the much-publicized U.K. variant of COVID-19 is, or at least was, present in Belize. It may sound like cause for alarm but the facts are that while this variant spreads faster it doesn't seem to make people sicker.

It was identified in Belize via the 15 samples sent to Baylor college, found in a man who entered Belize on January 12, 2021, as a member of the British Army Training Support Unit Belize.

And while that individual was asymptomatic, protocols at BATSUB being what they are, he entered Belize with a negative PCR test and underwent a mandatory re-swab upon arrival.

This morning I spoke via phone with Maj Richard Jeffrey, deputy commander BATSUB to find out about the more particular measures that were undertaken to keep the strain from entering the Belizean population.

Maj. Richard Jeffrey, Deputy Commander BATSUB
"The ex-Sargent unit came in by military aircraft and were then moved around into Price Barracks by military transport and they were then processed when all our procedures were agreed with the ministry of health and wellness and we got our own force instruction protocols as well. On arrival all exercise personnel were processed in immigration and then were referred within 24 hours with PCR tests, they then remained in quarantine bubbles until those results came out. That individual was found to be positive and then isolation took place, contact tracing followed up with that and after 11 days had passed I think he was clear, he then continued into the jungle and onto exercise."

"We operate with the consent of the Belizean government and the Belizean people. It's a very important country and training area for us and like I said previously the whole arrangements and procedures were agreed with the Ministry of Health and wellness and we stand shoulder to shoulder with you and so the opportunity to speak like with the Batsub as to what happened and the procedures to make so all the people are fully aware that those procedures worked, as demonstrated by the positive test, the isolation, and then the process that took place after that."

"We continue to develop them, both from working with the Belizean government the statutory instrument from Belize also enforced health protection instruction, but this is true that they do work and our troops now are coming back in and will now be re-deploying to the UK shortly and after exercise is getting PCR tested before flying back to the UK again by military aircraft."

Maj. Jeffrey also told us that quote: "Many other public health procedures were put in place prior to the arrival of the troops and very minimal interaction with the public has occurred."

A further 40 swabs that are now on their way to Baylor college will be reported on in the near future.

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