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Caught COVID, Dr. Manzanero Sent Home, For Good

Posted By: Marty

Caught COVID, Dr. Manzanero Sent Home, For Good - 12/11/20 12:07 PM

Turning to the Ministry of Health, Dr Marvin Manzanero may be home sick with COVID - but that didn't stop the new honchos at the Minister of Health from pretty much firing him via talk show. Today on LOVE FM's morning show, Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat said plainly that Dr. Manza's work was finished in the COVID 19 fight and that the ministry was looking for more qualified persons:

Hon. Michel Chebat - Minister of Health
"Unfortunately, Dr. Manzanero as is now public knowledge has also been afflicted by the virus and so, he's currently out of the ministry, we have appointed an interim DHS Ernesto. Dr. Manzanero has contributed and he has done his part in the fight against COVID but as I had said earlier when you asked me that question, we have a mandate to change and we are looking at bringing in the best possible individuals to help us to combat this disease and to help us formulate a proper approach and so forth Ernesto, I think I will answer that question in that way you know."

Manzanero has not replied to our questions about his current condition, or his standing in the ministry. We do know that he has been made to hand over his DHS vehicle, and had already been moved from his office in the first week of the new administration.

Acting DHS Has Deep Political Connect

And, Manzanero is being replaced - for the time being at least - by Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa. She has been the Deputy Regional Manager for the Central Health Region for the past 12 years - and was yesterday named the acting Director of Health Services for the next three months, at least.

In so doing she Dr. Diaz leapfrogs two deputy directors of Health Services. And while her qualifications or competence cannot be denied - the question of nepotism does rear its head. Dr. Diaz is the sister in law of the Minister of Home Affairs, and when asked about her appointment today in Belmopan, he invoked what can only be called, the Barrow Defence:

Hon. Kareem Musa - Minister of Home Affairs
"I would want to echo the sentiments of the former prime minister when he was defending certain appointments in his administration, that if you are qualified for a particular post, then you are deserving of that post and anybody in the Ministry of Health can tell you that Dr. Diaz being in her position since COVID-19 has been the hardest worker and I'm not in any way discounting the value of other workers in Belize City but she in charge of central region, so we're talking Belize district, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, she has not slept believe it or not since COVID-19, so she has been on the ball, she has a good grasp of the situation and I'm sure that she's more than deserving of that post as interim DHS."

Reporter
"As a member of your immediate family, are you aware of any information that she may be permanently taking over the position?"

Hon. Kareem Musa
"Not to my knowledge, I only heard from her that she is the interim DHS, I have no knowledge of the future posting for that particular position."

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: Caught COVID, Dr. Manzanero Sent Home, For Good - 12/12/20 12:08 PM

The Mysterious Case of Dr. Manza

Minister Chebat is singing from the same public health hymn sheet that Dr. Marvin Manzanero basically wrote. But, Manzanero can't sing it for himself right now, because he's at home sick with COVID 19.

The Ministry seems to have used the opportunity of his illness to name a new acting Director of Health Services for a three month period. Dr Melissa Diaz is well known in the public health system - but is she being brought in to permanently replace Dr. Manzanero. The Minister was non comital on this today:

Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness
"So, Dr. Manzanero as you all know is ill. It's been made public and he is at home recovering. That's the position with him. Part of our plan is the institution of a national Covid response team and as you all know I took over this ministry a little bit less than a month ago and when I did so we found that the search plans and the plans that they had to confront this pandemic were either not being implemented or there were insufficient and so we found ourselves having to run, we found ourselves meeting increasing numbers of positive cases. We found a country with increasing number of deaths and so we've had to act drastically and dramatically. We have brought in Dr. Melissa Diaz Musa to be our focal point and to lead that task force and she is going to be acting as the DHS for the time being."

Reporter
"What's going to happen when Dr. Manzanero returns?"

Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness
"Dr. Manzanero and I are in discussions to see where he feels he is best placed within the ministry."

PM Likes New Acting DHS, A Lot

Prime Minister John Briceno wasn't quite so restrained in his remarks about Dr Manzanero versus Dr Diaz. He made it clear that he likes Diaz's energy:

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"I don't know as yet, but we need to take a different course. The previous course was not working. The course of just sitting and waiting on the PCR tests, the long waits in getting back the results - we felt that we have to be a lot more aggressive than what we were and so we have to look at what our options and I think the minister of health will probably inform us more sooner than later what will be the plans, but what I can tell you that Dr. Melissa Diaz is one of the best doctors. She has been out in the frontlines in the testing and doing everything possible to try to curb the spread of the virus, so should be minister decide that he wants to appoint Dr. Melissa Diaz he will have my full support and I have great respect for her. I admire the work that she has done, the determination and the love for her work and this is what we need right now - people that are determined, people that are fearless, people that love what they do."

Channel 7

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