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Today's Belize News: April 15, 2020

Posted By: Marty

Today's Belize News: April 15, 2020 - 04/15/20 11:58 AM


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.


The San Pedro Sun

SSB Chairman Doug Singh resigns after controversial remarks regarding COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program
doug singh covid-19 relief fundOn Tuesday, April 14th, Douglas Singh resigned as Chairman of the Social Security Board (SSB) and Director of Belize Telemedia Limited and Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His sudden resignation came on the heels of an interview in which he candidly expressed his frustration with Belizeans over the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program. Throughout the telephone interview, Singh made inflammatory remarks against the applicants who applied for the relief fund. It is alleged that his resignation is tied to that audio leak.

Unemployment Relief Payment: 7,247 Approved for Disbursement
As of 2:00 p.m. today, April 14th, 62,706 applications have been received via the COVID-19 eServices Portal, in addition to a lesser amount received in hard copy, for the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program. 7,247 of those applications have been approved and payment should be forthcoming. The program was designed to offer financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. It also provides relief to persons who were unemployed prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now experiencing even more difficult circumstances.

Legal changes to Social Security Act: Regulations for Sickness Benefit during a Pandemic
Effective March 28, 2020, the qualifying condition that a person must be employed upon becoming ill has been suspended. This means a person who, as of March 1, 2020, became unemployed, suspended, placed on leave without pay, or ceased self-employment may still qualify for Sickness Benefit. This statement differs from an initial announcement on March 19, 2020, wherein representatives of the Social Security Branch (SSB) indicated that “If an employee is laid off and then becomes ill due to COVID-19 they are not eligible to claim any benefit.”

Government of Belize to Procure COVID-19 Test Kits from Cayman Islands
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) announces that, following a phone call between Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin of the Cayman Islands on Saturday, April 11, Belize can obtain from Cayman as many COVID-19 test kits as needed. Belize has so far received 2,500 tests from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and is expecting an additional 11,500 tests from the organization. Additionally, Belize ordered 4,000 tests from the Roche Agency in Guatemala, 2,000 of which are to be delivered this week and the remaining next week.

Ambergris Today

Belize Approves Disbursement Of 7,247 Unemployment Relief Payments
As of 2:00 p.m. today, April 14th, 62,706 applications have been received via the COVID-19 eServices Portal, in addition to a lesser amount received in hard copy, for the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR - IS SAN PEDRO REALLY OKAY!?
"Ok, based on the very poor responses from the local officials on Reef TV this morning, this post is just my thoughts of our situation. Since our lockdown started, we have been putting our faith in the local government officials to control the situation. Are they? How would we know? Very tight lipped, and no official method for the citizens to voice their concerns. When comments like 'we are doing good' and 'we are watching the Dominican Republic' are thrown out, I now have grave concerns for the people of this island. Most politicians, around the globe, have daily press conferences to keep their constituents informed. We tune into Reef TV in the hopes of getting pertinent information. Maybe they'll show up, maybe not. Maybe they will call in, maybe not. They are building animosity within the public and either don't care, or don't want to deal with the concerns of the people.

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Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Notice: COVID-19 Relief Fund HOTLINE NUMBERS
For financial assistance, queries or concerns on your application and payment call: 621-3618 | 621-3400 | 604-4645.

Effective March 28, 2020 the qualifying condition that a person must be employed upon becoming ill has been suspended
Persons are advised to submit completed Sickness Benefit forms to claims@socialsecurity.org.bz.

Are you or someone in your family in a high risk group?
Behave like you have the virus and that everyone you come in contact does as well. Islanders, it is important not to let your guard down. It’s up to each of us to be self disciplined and take responsibility to keep all of our vulnerable residents and the community safe. Stay Home except for emergencies or if you are an ESSENTIAL worker. When in public master 6-feet physical distancing around yourself. At home practice physical distancing also where possible. High risk groups for severe illness and death include people:

Temporary Caye Caulker Respiratory Clinic is now active
We would like to inform the public that our temporary Caye Caulker Respiratory Clinic is now active. Person with any flu like symptoms are advised to call first at 600-9539 before visiting the clinic. Upon arrival you will be triaged and guided by a nurse. Let's help maintain Caye Caulker COVID 19 FREE!!!

The end of a Hot smoky day in San Ignacio
photo by Daren Lamb

THE MAYA CROSS
The cross is a symbol that has been present in the Maya culture since pre-Hispanic times . The Maya Cross’s symbolic identity is that of supernatural entities, such as Itzamná and Chaak; as well as ancestral entities, trees, corn stalks, and other plants which abound in the Mayaab, the land of the Maya. Maya Crosses often have an overhead semi-circle of flowers. Maya crosses are often painted a blue-green hue, which signifies centrality, and are referred to as "ya’ as che’ "--’green tree’ and "kuxa’an" –alive. The Maya cross is a representation of the tree of life of the Maya the Ceiba . The Maya belief that proclamations of these crosses come from the "divine" voice of "hahal ku," the true Maya god of the Masewal.

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC - GENERAL REGISTRY — COVID-19 RESPONSE
IN LIGHT OF THE DEVELOPMENTS WITH REGARDS TO COVID-19, INCLUDING THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF A COUNTRYWIDE QUARANTINE IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATUTORY INSTRUMENT 54 OF 2020, THE GENERAL PUBLIC. IS HEREBY NOTIFIED OF THE FOLLOWING WITH EFFECT FROM APRIL 14, 2020, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 1. THE MAIN OFFICE OF THE GENERAL REGISTRY WILL BE CLOSED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC...

CLOSURE OF OFFICE - TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BELIZE CITY AND SUB-TREASURIES COUNTRYWIDE
The Accountant General hereby advises the general public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument 54 of 2020 dated April 11, 2020, the Treasury Department, Belize City and Sub-treasuries countrywide will be closed to the public for the period April 14 - 24, 2020. Please note that Government Savings Bank will be operational countrywide, with the exception of San Pedro Sub-Treasury, on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14 and 15, 2020 respectively from 9:00 am to 12:00 midday to accommodate payroll and other personal transactions.

Disbursement of 7,247 Unemployment Relief Payments Approved
A total of 62,706 applications have been received through the COVID19 electronic services portal starting at 2:00 pm on April 14, plus a fewer physical applications received for the Unemployment Relief Program by COVID-19. The program was designed with the aim of providing financial aid to those who were fired due to the COVID-19. crisis. The program also provides assistance to those who remained unemployed before the beginning of the COVID pandemic - 19 and now they go through harder times.

Belize Government Will Purchase Cayman Islands Test Kits
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) announces that, following a phone call between Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin of the Cayman Islands on Saturday, April 11, Belize can obtain from Cayman as many COVID-19 test kits as needed. Belize has so far received 2,500 tests from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and is expecting an additional 11,500 tests from the organization. Additionally, Belize ordered 4,000 tests from the Roche Agency in Guatemala, 2,000 of which are to be delivered this week and the remaining next week.

60,000 high quality “Made in Taiwan” face masks arrived in Belize today
Thank you for everyone who helped us facilitate the clearance procedure in the Philip Goldson International Airport. All the masks will be donated to Ministry of Health of Belize on April 16 to be used by frontline medical service providers in fighting against COVID-19. These masks were shipped from Taipei a week ago, en route via Cincinnati and Miami in the United State, then Panama City and Guatemala City in Central America, now finally arrived in Belize. The geographic distance between Taiwan and Belize is really far, but our friendship keeps us even closer. At this difficult and critical moment, we would like to tell all our friends in Belize, “Taiwan is always on your side!”

HUGE LOSS TO POULTRY SECTOR
KREM News has learned that Mennonite businesses in the poultry sector have depopulated (in other words, they have put down) a large portion of the expensive breeder flocks of chickens producing hatching eggs. One businessman says they destroyed half of their breeder flock. Their decision was not an easy one but with no option to use the product, keeping the entire stock would come at a burdensome expense. This destruction is considered a huge loss to the industry. They also discarded a huge amount of eggs pulling them out of the machine instead of letting them hatch into chicks.

BELIZE MEDICAL AND DENTAL ASSOCIATION (#BMDA), WHICH REPRESENTS THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY OF BELIZE, CLAIMS VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER CONCERNS
In a statement written April 13,th 2020 BMDA writes: The BMDA through this medium would like to notify the general public that lately we have not been able to participate in meetings related to the decision making for this COVID-19 pandemic. The BMDA represents the medical community of Belize and it is unacceptable that the doctors on this country do not have a say in this matter. We have been vocal about our concerns and it is obvious that now we are being victimized because of it. There was a virtual task force meeting on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. and the BMDA representative was locked out.

Help and donations to Caye Caulker
The past few weeks have been extremely busy and trying for us here at C.C.V.C and on beautiful Caye Caulker. We must again extend gratitude to the Chinese Community and San Pedro Belize Express for their unwavering support. We must also thank Caribbean Chicken and Quality Poultry for chickens to be distributed as part of our pantry program. We must also thank all the business owners and members who have come forward to lend a helping hand to our community members in this time of need. We must commend Ms Peggy from Bondi Bar and her team, whose all names we still have not gotten, who are serving meals to various community members both on North and South Caye Caulker.

Rapidito would like to make an official release about the rumors that are being spread on the island
Absolutely NO ONE has been traveling on our barge, with the exception of our employees which is now limited ONLY to our caye caulker staff. Our barge last travelled a week ago, and only 1 additional person was on that barge - the BWEL representative. We had to beg the company to even send this gentleman because they were refusing in fear of his safety. Had we not bargained with these people, the island would have been left without gas. The deal we made was that this gentleman would be brought to caye caulker, escorted by the police to the vicinity to pump and immediately sent back to the city on the barge. Police were informed of arrival time and were there waiting for the barge. They can attest that no one came on the barge, apart from our crew and this Bwel rep.

William McQueen donates to Belize Zoo
Bill McQueen made a $7,700BZ donation to the BelizeZoo today! Thank you Bill!!! From Bill: "Just giving back to the Belize I have loved for the last 20 plus years. It means more now in these difficult times."

STATUTORY INSTRUMENT - SI54 REVISIONS + SUMMARY
by Wendy Auxillou

Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize (14-APR-2020)
Event: United Airlines flight UA3042, which departs Philip Goldson International Airport on Thursday April 16, 2020 at 12:00 noon and arrives in Houston at 15:28 pm, is fully booked. If you are a passenger on this flight, please read the following information to protect you and all personnel involved in a safe departure from Belize. If you are not a passenger on this flight but are still interested in repatriating to the United States, please skip to step number 6.

Balames
Balames are Yucatec Maya earth guardian Spirits created by Jajal Yuumstil (God) to maintain the balance between humanity and Nature . They are protectors of animals , forest,towns and humans . The Yucatec Maya of Belize continue seeing the balames as important beings in their Spirituality especially when doing the different primicias . The Balames are also known as Nukuch Tat,Yuum Balam , Nukuch balam or Tata Duende .

Belizean Máasewal cuisine - Waajilbu’ul
Between the Yucatec Maya (Máasewal) of Belize this food is known as Waajilbu’ul (Pan de frijol) . Have heard others call it Oni Waaj . This picture is from a Maya Máasewal family of Yo Chen (Corozal) . If you know another name please let us know .

Current restaurants offering delivery in San Pedro
Current restaurants offering delivery: Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant - can order direct from Facebook Page, or 226-2008. Patz's Delicatessen & Bakery - WhatsApp see image below or visit Facebook Page. 226-0440 or FB message. Ramen 501-San Pedro--- WhatsApp see image below or visit Facebook Page. 628-0100 WhatsApp. Pirate's Pizza- menu/contact info below. 226-4663 or 226-2378, or order from FB page. PepperOni's Pizza Ambergris Caye - menu/contact info below. 226-4515.

Historic Public Market in Corozal
When visiting the House of Culture, these two panels are a must read! Via this medium, we share the history of the original Public Market which now houses the Corozal House of Culture.

Channel 7

SSB Chmn Forced To Resign, Outrageous, Insulting Interview Leaked
Chairman of the Social security Board Doug Singh has abruptly resigned as chairman of the Social Security Board, the Elections and Boundaries Commission and as a Director of BTL. It happened just a few minutes ago in a letter to the Prime Minister. In it he writes, quote, "I will not allow the greater purpose of your national efforts in this crisis to be undermined by any personal expressions made by me." End quote And here's what he's talking about. Singh granted journalist for Belize Breaking News Aaron Humes an interview earlier today about the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program. The 19 minute interview was riddled with expletives and characterised many unemployed who were applying for relief as entitled and undeserving freeloaders.

Belize's Second Victim of COVID-19
When we left you on Friday we were up to Patient #9 with one dead. Tonight there are twice that many patients, eighteen, and two have died. Like we said, a very rough, sad and panic inducing weekend for Belize. Patient #10, 65-year-old Conrad Everett, died at the KHMH in the early morning hours of Good Friday. And after his death events moved quickly. This morning Cherisse Halsall set out to recap the new cases and new clusters identified over the strangest easter weekend in memory.

KHMH Workers Union Not Happy About Handling of COVID Patient
But, we have more from the hospital's Workers Union. They accused the KHMH of, quote, "(erring) in accepting and transferring the patient to the ICU, without following critical care protocols and recently-established COVID protocols for patients showing signs of respiratory distress." End quote. The statement says, quote, "The KHMHA Workers Union hereby demands the immediate and complete closure of the ICU unit and that in-patients be relocated elsewhere for intensive care management. Also, that thorough sanitary and corrective measures be conducted on all units possibly compromised with immediate effect." End quote.

Two COVID Clusters Detected
Zooming out of that ugly and protracted dispute, most of us want to know what is the status of COVID 19 in Belize tonight. Well, like we said there are 18 cases, many of them coming out of two clusters in western and central Belize. Today on Ask The Experts, the Director of Health Services commented:...

Should Downtown Shoppers and Bank-goers Worry?
As we showed you earlier, one of those clusters have links to downtown Belize City - and tonight three establishments at the heart of the city are shut down for decontamination. Now, those are businesses at the heart of the city, and, before COVID, every day, hundreds of pedestrians would be in and out of those establishments. So, should they be concerned for their health about possibly coming in contact with the highly infectious COVID 19? We asked Manzanero today:..

The Virus Could Have Been in Belize Since Mid-March
Of course, the fact that the party with over 100 persons was held at the upper floor of the downtown diner in the downtown plaza on March 14th means that the the coronavirus could have been in Belize from well before our first patient was identified on March 22nd. Today Manzanero discussed that possibility:

COVID Overview: Two Deaths, Most Asymptomatic or Recovering
And while that is worrying, the news is not all bad. Very sadly, two have died from the corona virus, but most of the persons who have tested positive are not showing symptoms and some who were hzispptialized are improving. Manzanero gave an update today:

Patient 14 A False Negative?
One patient we did ask about was patient 14. She is a close contact of the deceased patient 4. But she just tested positive this weekend - when we suspect she had been tested right after his death. We asked if that was a false negative:

Cops Charged For Coercion Into Sex Act
Three police officers have been charged for coercing a couple into having sex and then recording it. On Friday, April 10th, 2020, Police formally arrested and charged Jason Shaw 46-year-old, Belizean Corporal of Police of Orange Walk District, Leslie Martinez 38-year-old, Belizean Police Constable of a Belize City address and Anthony Villamil 20-year-old, Belizean Police Constable of San Roman Village, Orange Walk District for the crime of "Willful Oppression".

Easter Traffic Fatality In Corozal
There was a fatal traffic accident during the Easter Holiday weekend, that has claimed the life of a Corozal resident. He has been identified to us as 40-year-old Cristobal Cano, a villager from Concepcion, Corozal. Police say that on Holy Saturday, they visited an area between miles 74 and 75 of the Philip Goldson Highway.

Body Found In West, Foul Play Possible
But while those men were charged for their heinous crime there is a dead body found in the west. And at 1:45 pm Roaring Creek Police discovered the body of 70-year-old Salvadoran National Pedro Fuentes. Fuentes left for work yesterday afternoon but by nightfall when he hadn't returned home a search party was organized to locate him.

An Imminent Poultry Crisis
So, we've brought you extensive coverage of the thousands of Belizeans who lost their jobs in the collapsed tourism industry. But, the tourism industry isn't the only part of the country's economy that continues to be hard-hit by the virus, and the State of Emergency, which the Barrow Government activated to contain the local spread of the virus. The nation's food security may be at risk. That was the news delivered today by the Chairman of Quality Poultry, one of the nation's biggest poultry producing companies. He was discussing the issue with KREM TV's Evan Mose Hyde, in a new YouTube web series called "Talk To Mi."

QPP Giving Chickens Away, Kinda
But even if government doesn't step up, at least for a time, the price of chicken will drop. Starting tomorrow you'll be able to flag down Quality Poultry trucks for buy one/get one deals. And this afternoon via video call we spoke to Quality Poultry's General Manager Raymond Barkman about how his company is freeing up storage space while helping get food to the struggling public.

Cattle Exports Damaged By COVID-19
In that interview with the Allen Reimer, it was also revealed that the local cattle industry is also at risk. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the informal cross-border trade of cattle between Belize's farmers, Guatemala, and Mexico to be put on an indefinite hiatus. Now this trade was "through the back" so to speak, but it was well established and flourishing. And now, it's stopped and causing another crisis:

Crying Over Spilt Milk
In the same way that the poultry producers are faced with a surplus of chicken that isn't selling on the local market, dairy producers from Spanish Lookout have also had to throw away milk that Belizeans aren't buying in the same quantities. Here's what Reimer had to say about the huge financial losses to dairy producers:

Briceno Bex About Tests Turned Down
And while that is the politics of food - which is paramount in a time like this - the regular blue and red politics are also at play right now. PUP Leader John Briceno who agreed to co-chair the National COVID-19 Task Force isn't happy. This weekend he took to the air with a major statement explaining his frustration, first of all, with the refusal of test kits sent to the central American Region by South Korea through CABEI. Here's how he put it:

Test Kits Coming From Cayman
But, there are kits on the way as well - thousands of them. Prime Minister Dean Barrow called up the Premier of the Cayman Islands Alden McLaughlin to inquire if Belize can purchase - at cost - COVID-19 test kits from that island which recently brought 200,00 test kits - from south Korea.

DHS Says Tests Are Abundant
Now that will be in addition to the stockpile of tests which Belize currently has. Manzanero outlined those today on Ask The Experts: Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services "How many testing kits are in country? We have from the batch, 4 kits of 96, 8 kits of 96 confirmatory tests and PAHO has sent to us 2,500 reactions. Reactions are kits that are being validated today for use in country. 4,000 kits are pending to come in. Kits are for testing individual tests and 11,500 reactions from PAHO. So even if you do a hundred tests per day, it's going to take you a good amount of weeks before we run out of that and of course we are stocking out on more."

Some Supplies Held Up
And while the tests should be coming through, some supplies have been stopped by supply chains which are now being commandeered by developed countries, mainly the USA. "Additional ventilators - 8 have arrived, 6 were deployed to Karl Heusner, 2 are here at the warehouse here in Belmopan for deployment wherever they are needed. We are aware that the US has put a policy restriction of PPEs and items needed to come, but Covid-19 has this affected us in any way? Yes, there was a delay in the ventilators getting here and that is causing a further delay in further ventilators getting here."

Live Grenade Found In North
On Easter Sunday, Corozal police had to respond to the discovery of a live hand grenade that was left in an abandoned lot. At around 3 that evening, the cops received a call from a concerned citizen of Mango Street in the Santa Rita Area. He found a black oval-shaped metal object wedged in a tree.

BMDA Says It's Been Boxed Out
The Belize Medical and Dental Association is speaking out about their COVID-19 concerns; mainly that they've been granted no say in decision making surrounding the pandemic. They say that have tried to speak up and have been victimized because of it. That claim coming after their representative claims he was locked out of a virtual task force meeting on April 8th.

The National Lockdown Went Into Effect On Saturday at 8:00
So, as you've seen tonight, there's been a whole lot of news related to the death of patient 10, and the appearance of 9 more positive COVID cases over the long Easter weekend. And, when patient died early on Good Friday morning, it caused not only grief for his family, and concern verging on panic in the community - it forced government to declare a national lockdown. The rule is that every district would go under the same rules as the Cayo District which was found to have community spread last week:

PM Placed Under Quarantine Due To COVID 10
And, if you noticed that message form the PM which he delivered on Good Friday, was done in his home with a cell phone. Well, that's because he was also under quarantine due to patient 10. Here's the explanation:

PUP Not Pleased
The Police officer has since tested negative for COVID 19, and this, along with the fact that he was not at that March 14th party seems to have brought the executive quarantine to an end by Sunday.

PUP Says Politics Being Played in Relief Food And Supplies
And while the leader of the opposition listed many things that he feels are wrong with the COVID response - one fo them is the politicised distribution of food relief:

Uk Espat Charged For Fake News
And in other news, outspoken activist Jose Luis Espat was charged this weekend with spreading false information. Police say "The post was re-shared and re-posted by many causing public alarm and leading to Espat's arrest." Espat later posted in response to his arrest saying quote: " Whenever anyone is charged for false News it is something they don't want known publicly, wise up. They want people to think we are malicious and liad but you all know better. We will fight to the very end." It looks like he's yet to learn his lesson.

Channel 5

Doug Singh Resigns as S.S.B. Chair, from Other Boards
Late this evening, Chairman of the S.S.B. Doug Singh stepped down from the post. The consummate U.D.P. insider also resigned as the chairman of the Elections and Boundaries commission and [...]

COVID-19 Cases Double Over Easter Weekend; Another Casualty is Reported
The number of persons infected by COVID 19 doubled over the Easter weekend. As of this afternoon, six hundred and twenty-nine persons have been tested; of that amount eighteen persons [...]

More Businesses are Looking Fumigation to Kill Coronavirus
The burial of Conrad Everett took place over the weekend in line with protocols established with the World Health Organization. Now, the cluster of persons that also tested positive includes [...]

Out of Eighteen Cases – Two in Hospital – Fourteen in Home Isolation
This afternoon, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero provided an update on the positive cases of COVID-19. Speaking on Ask the Experts,  Doctor Manzanero says that so far, there [...]

GOB Loses Millions in Revenue
The economy is coming to a grinding halt and being the largest employer in the country, the Government of Belize is looking to cut down on spending.  With tens of [...]

G.O.B. Proposes Freezing of Annual Salary Increment
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told President Smith that the government is seeking to identify and implement potential cost savings measures. One of those measures includes the proposed freezing of salary [...]

Additional 5000 Approved for COVID-19 Relief
Just after he made those unsavory comments on who gets funds under the COVID Relief programme, Doug Singh spoke in a much saner tone to News Five. Now, one of [...]

Concerns About Accessing Unemployment Relief
Some of the concerns raised about the access to the COVID-19 unemployment relief programme are the lack of bank accounts and social security number. Some groups, mostly underprivileged homes, feel [...]

Test Kits Update!
Late last week, the Director of Health Services said the country and in fact the region is running low on viral swabs used in testing for COVID-19. This afternoon, the [...]

K.H.M.H.A. Workers Union Meets with Prime Minister Dean Barrow
The leaders of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority Workers Union on Monday met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is now out of isolation. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, [...]

K.H.M.H.A. Workers Union Demand Investigation for “Breach of Protocols’
The Ministry of Health of Health over the weekend said that personnel at the K.H.M.H. who were exposed to patient ten have tested negative for COVID-19. But the K.H.M.H.A. Workers [...]

Is the Government Broke?
Revenue to government coffers has been shrinking due to COVID-19 and the state of emergency.  So is the government broke? That is the question we asked Financial Secretary Joseph Waight [...]

Fuel Prices to Decrease This Week
World oil prices continue to fall, dipping below thirty dollars a barrel.  But despite falling world oil prices, here in Belize, consumers are paying more than ten dollars a gallon. [...]

DHS Speaks on Future Testing Possibilities
Back to today’s Ask the Experts Session. Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero was asked about the possibility of Belize using rapid tests, as well as those that test [...]

Belize Learning from Taiwan’s COVID-19 Best Practices
One country that has been hailed to have successfully contained the virus is Taiwan.  Today, Taiwan reported no new cases of the COVID-19 for the first time in thirty-six days. [...]

More Testing Kits a Cometh
Since the Ministry of Health began screening and testing exercises in detection of COVID-19, a total of six hundred tests have been conducted.  That was out of a diminishing number [...]

DHS Explains Why South Korean Test Kits Were Refused
When pressed about the twenty-five thousand kits that were being donated by South Korea through SICA, that the Ministry of Health declined in March, the DHS said that the ministry’s [...]

Three Wayward Cops Arraigned for Sexual Coercion
Three police officers, including a corporal, have been arrested and charged following the coercion of two Belize City residents into a sexual act last Tuesday.  Forty-six-year-old Jason Shaw, thirty-eight-year-old Leslie [...]

94 Others Arrested Under Emergency Power Regulations, Curfew
There have been over five hundred persons and counting arrested for violating the emergency powers regulation with respect to the state of emergency and curfew. On Sunday, further restrictions were [...]

Decomposing Body of Elderly Man Found at Dumpsite in Valley of Peace
While there a number of arrests were made over the weekend for violators of the state of emergency, police are investigating a case of sudden death in the west. Earlier [...]

Was the BMDA Blocked from Virtual M.O.H. Meeting?
Earlier, we reported that the K.H.M.H.A. Workers Union reached agreement on some areas during a meeting with the PM.  Among the other complaints over COVID-19 that have surfaced includes one [...]

The U.S.A. and Ventilators Delay
At least three countries in the region: Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Barbados, have complained that equipment placed on order for the COVID-19 pandemic, were prevented by the U.S. authorities. The [...]

NAVCO Demands Village Councils Be Included in COVID-19 Food Distribution
The National Association of Village Councils is demanding that village councils be included in the distribution of food under the COVID-19 assistance programmes. Sabido says that villages and communities are [...]

Social Distancing and other Precautionary Measures May Extend for More Than a Year
If you are frustrated by all the new regulations being introduced including social distancing and other precautionary measures, you might want to buckle down and hang in there. Today during [...]

Salvation Army & its Food Pantry Programme
There are several food pantry programmes in place by government agencies as well as individuals and humanitarian organizations across the country. The Salvation Army, which caters to thousands of persons, [...]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

#TaiwanCanHelp – 60,000 masks arrive in Belize
Today, 60,000 high-quality masks made in Taiwan face masks arrived at the Philip Goldson Airport. The […]

BNTU working with government to help Belize combat COVId-19 pandemic
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is holding ongoing meetings with officials of the government […]

COVID-19 and the food supply chain
A director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says “it is imperative that countries […]

Government approves over 7000 unemployment relief payments
The Government of Belize informed that as of 2:00 p.m. today, 62,706 applications have been received […]

Body of man found in Valley of Peace
This afternoon, the body of a man was found at a dump site in Valley of […]

Government to procure COVID-19 test kits from Cayman Islands
The Government informed that following a call between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Premier Alden […]

Belize Medical and Dental Association: “Leaders of this country do not accept constructive criticism”
The Belize Medical and Dental Association (BMDA) issued a statement informing the public that their […]

Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 considered among the best worldwide
To date, Taiwan has seen a low number of confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19, […]

District Association of Village Councils joins NAVCO in calling for village leaders to assist in food distribution
The Cayo District Association of Village councils (DAVCO) has written to the Ministry of Human […]

Kareem Musa: “We need an emergency non-partisan food distribution plan for Belizeans”
Caribbean Shores Area Representatives, Kareem Musa, is calling on the government to change its direction […]

Department of Rural Development reminds villagers to conserve water
Belize is currently experiencing a heatwave; therefore, the Department of Rural Development reminds the villagers […]

Prime Minister meets with representatives of KHMHA workers union to address critical concerns
Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday met with representatives of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority […]

Belize Water Services and Town Council partner to assist San Ignacio/Santa Elena residents affected by water shortage
Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) issued a statement apologizing to customers in the San Ignacio/Santa […]

Blogs

Start Your Day With a Belizean Breakfast
If you’re about to head out on one of Belize’s epic adventures, or daydream about a past trip at home, start your day with an authentic typical Belizean breakfast. A classic Belizean breakfast combines the best of Belize’s colonial history with its Caribbean culture and roots. It all adds up to a tasty ensemble of flavors you won’t find anywhere else in the world. As far as “a mixing pot of culture” goes, key elements like Creole-based Fry Jacks, Maya-influenced Eggs and Chaya, and Yucatan Refried Beans.

15 Creole Phrases You Should Learn Before Visiting Belize
The Creole are one of the many ethnic groups that make up Belize’s cultural diversity. As such, most Belizeans speak English and Creole, or “Kriol”, as a part of our Belizean identity. Before you visit, have some fun with learning a few phrases of Creole to feel right at home. Like most patois throughout the Caribbean, Kriol is a dialect from enslaved workers exposed to the heard-English of British settlers to create a unique chopped-up mix. Belizeans of all ethnic backgrounds grow up speaking Kriol, often before learning English. English may be the official first language, but Kriol is just as common.

CDC suspends Cruise Ship Travel for 100 More Days
On April 9th, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new extension of its “No Sail Order” for cruise ships as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The original order was placed on March 14, first set to be 30 days in the first instance. Now, the CDC has since extended through a 100-day period. The U.S. cruise industry has worked closely with the CDC and relevant authorities throughout the emergence of the pandemic. As such, the industry has suspended operations to ports all around the world since then.

Staying at San Pedro’s Sunbreeze Hotel
SunBreeze Hotel is a stunning property making for a perfect tropical vacation. It is located at the south end of central San Pedro and faces the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Its location makes it easy for divers and nature lovers to visit the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Barrier Reef, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The accommodations are clean and spacious, while offering all the modern amenities you require while still maintaining the laid back island vibe. Additional amenities include the onsite Dive Center which includes a 5 star PADI operation, an on-site restaurant and bar (with the island’s best sushi nights), a pool, sun deck, gazebo, and on-site spa.

International Sourcesizz

The first case of someone dying after catching COVID-19 from a dead body
Scientists in Thailand said they identified the first case of somebody dying from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, after catching it from a dead body. The case was reported in a letter published by the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine on Saturday. It described it as "the first report on COVID-19 infection and death among medical personnel in a Forensic Medicine unit."

26 amazing animal facts for kids
How long is a chameleon’s tongue? How high can a flea jump? Which animal always gives birth to quadruplets? The natural world is full of incredible creatures – many of which inspire curiosity in kids. Learn as a family and get set to impress your friends with these fun facts about animals from around the world.

Is The COVID-19 Curve Flattening In The Caribbean?
With economists from the World Bank, IMF and IDB forecasting a gloomy economic future for the Caribbean region, there seemed to some good news Tuesday as the number of cases in most regional countries showed a flattening off, even though an uptick continued in 7 countries. On Tuesday, most countries, except for the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Barbados, Sint Maarten and St. Kitts and Nevis, reported no new cases or deaths.

Videos

  • Tuesday's 'Ask the Experts', 60min.

  • Crocodile Rescue - Saved From Eating Plastic Bag, 10min. Kip Smith joins ACES (American Crocodile Education Sanctuary) Christina Manzi and Chris Summers on a rescue operation of an American Crocodile. A citizen reported a crocodile with a fishing line across his nose. Concerned that he either swallowed a hook or was part of an illegal feeding show with chicken on the end of a fishing line. The goal of the rescue operation is to remove the fishing line from the crocodile to prevent further problems and reinforce fear for humans. Feeding wild crocodiles is dangerous for the crocodile and humans, as they loose their fear and begin to associate humans with food. Never feed or attempt to catch a wild crocodile.

  • Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO Director holds a briefing on the evolution of the situation of COVID-19 in the Americas and the response, 44min.

  • Temporary Caye Caulker Respiratory Clinic is now active, 1min.

  • The Dive Bar & Dive Shop in Belize., 2min. January, 2020.

  • Matura B. Audrey Comments, 86min. Today I will address the Rude remarks of SSB Chairman Dough Singh and the food crisis and the have-nots as opposed to the have's and the Statement by the Belize Medical and Dental Association (BMDA) other COVID Matters!

  • Cooking Tips At home, 30min.

  • Mercy Clinic Looking out for elders - COVID-19 Update, 29min.

  • Domestic Violence Education, 38min.

  • Purple Passion Studio & Spa - Beauty Tips, 16min. Beauty salons are closed and for many women they are now trying their cosmetology skills at home. If you have never colored your hair our guest shared the fundamental tips for doing the process at home. Stacy Badillo is the owner of Purple Passion Studio & Spa and she shared useful tips for great results. If you want more tips be sure to follow her Facebook and Instagram pages for updates on other beauty tips. Stacy Badillo - Owner, Purple Passion Studio & Spa (Caye Caulker)

  • St. John's Credit Union (SJCU) - Update, 25min. These are times of austerity resulting in a change in the way families function. Neil Wade is a Credit Officer at St. John's Credit Union (SJCU). He shared recommendations on how to trim your budget. His main advise is that prudence is key to adjusting to this new normal.

  • Director of Health Services - COVID-19 Update, 42min. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services with the Ministry of Health gave us an update on the COVID-19 response in Belize. He tackled burning questions about preparedness, surveillance, testing kits and the cluster of cases now present in Belize and Cayo. He shared how the MOH is adjusting to respond to this every-changing reality.

  • Talk To Mi (ep.3) - Dr. Sergio Garcia, 40min. This episode features a conversation with Belizean born pulmonary/critical care specialist Dr. Sergio Garcia. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and enable notifications, thanks for watching.

  • Will Flack Belize Permit Club, 15min.

  • , 14min. In April 2019, we traveled to Belize and filmed a reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus as part of the Semana Santa events in Benque Viejo del Carmen, a town in Belize that is just miles away from Guatemala. Follow us behind the scenes and see how we made the film.

  • Hurricane Hattie Belize, 3min.

  • Belize To Guatemala By Road! The Journey, 8min.

  • Lamanai, Belize ~ Olmec And Unknown Age, 4.5min. My report on Lamanai in Belize. Some credit it as a Mayan site but the origin appears very Olmec and some of the major structures have been built over older constructions. Pyramids and many areas that have not been excavated at all or just a little.

  • Belize Bird hunting, 5min. I sat here in the river of Belize in hope of getting a video of the birds & ducks in the island in the middle of the river & 2 show on the right side of me while I hide in the water & foliage + the quarantine police

  • SAN PEDRO, BELIZE SCENES, 3min. Views of the resort town San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. About a week before COVID-19 became really serious.
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