COVID numbers are once again spiraling out of control and the Brice�o administration is implementing stringent public health measures to stem the spread of the virus in other parts of the country. In the Toledo District, the lockdown of three villages, including Barranco, Midway and Conejo, has come into effect and will remain in place for a period of two weeks. The move has become necessary since the number of infections in those communities has ballooned. Across the country, the curfew hours have also been readjusted, extending the restriction of movement by an hour. But will these recent actions on the part of the Ministry of Health and Wellness prove effective?

Prime Minister John Brice�o

"I have been saying it over and over that the only way we can move this country forward, the only way is if we can control the COVID spread. It is unfortunate that Belizeans have not been listening when we're telling them, you know, social distance, keep your mask, wash your hands. You know, we got lax, we got careless and people are going out in the clubs and behaving as if COVID has disappeared and also even in the churches. Unfortunately, the spread that we are seeing right now, according to the officials from the Ministry of Health, they are coming from those churches where they pack people in and that is where they spread. In Orange Walk, that is what happened in Trial Farm, it came from a church and it's the same thing that happened down south. The only way we can control is if we are careful, we keep to social distancing, wearing your mask, washing your hands and get vaccinated. It is important that everyone gets vaccinated. We have to move decisively and make sure that we can stop the spread. That is why on Friday, the Minister of Health announced that we have to lockdown a section of the Toledo District: Barranco, Midway and Conejo. Lock them down, but we just can't lock them down and forget about them. We are going to be giving them food and a small stipend to be able to try to keep them there so that they don't come out and spread. In Orange Walk, it's not as acute as it's there but it's still spreading, that is why the ministry is advising that we're putting in new curfew hours and now curfew starts at ten o'clock and on the weekends, Thursday, Friday and Saturday it starts at eleven o'clock."

Today, the Belize City Magistrate's Court was closed down and will remain so for a week after positive COVID-19 cases were discovered among the staff.

Channel 5