The low number of hospitalizations has the KHMH CEO optimistic that the health system in Belize won't see the kind of strain it did during the alpha and delta waves. She said for now, there are no extremely ill patients but warns that that doesn't mean we should let our guards down.

Chandra Cansino, CEO, KHMH
"Up to, I haven't gotten this morning's statistics, but up to yesterday we had 12 patients in the COVID unit, 5 that were positive for COVID and 7 that were persons under investigation awaiting results of their tests."

"I think it's pretty much a fact that the symptoms of Omicron are milder than Delta and for now at this moment it's translating to hospitalizations because even in patients that we have admitted today and I say today because as you know things that change overnight are patients that are mildly ill so we don't have any ventilated patients for COVID at this time despite the numbers rising and we haven't had deaths over the past couple days either so we're hopeful and we're very optimistic but we can't let our guards down, remember Omicron will spread across this entire population very quickly and we still have a forty percent population that has not been vaccinated and those persons can very well end up in our COVID ICU so we cannot let our guards down, we are at the watch and wait step and, again please don't let your guards down, practice all the protocols and let's try to get this with the least hospitalizations and deaths as we can."

KHMH Under Strain With 40 Infected Staff

And while the hospital has gotten some help with medication, it's currently low on staff. That's because 40 staff members are out for COVID related reasons - either they tested positive or are waiting for their results. In the meantime, an already burdened system is being strained some more. The CEO, Chandra Cansino, explained how they are trying to work around it.

Chandra Cansino, CEO, KHMH
"That is one of the greatest concerns we have. We have 40 persons up to yesterday that were tested, I think there was a misunderstanding that they were positive, they are not all positive, we have a little over 20 that were positive up until yesterday so we have been making adjustments as needed in some cases maybe doing 12 hours shifts for a short period of time until they recover and come back to work, again none of them are seriously ill so we're hoping and praying for the best."

Courtney Menzies:
"How do you manage now with keeping that small outbreak to that little number rather than having it spread throughout the rest of the hospital?"

Chandra Cansino, CEO, KHMH
"Well we are enforcing very strictly the protocols within the hospital setting, discouraging persons from eating together because that is when the masks come off and if they do then they are properly social distanced or that they take shifts to eat, that no one is letting down their guard, we're doing little patrols in the little departments to make sure that everyone is adhering to the protocols because we need to keep our staff safe and healthy."

Channel 7