Last night, we showed you our late evening interview with Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero. He discussed the slight decrease in the number of new coronavirus infections detected last weekend. We also asked the DHS about the Government's plan to reopen the Philip Goldson International Airport to international travellers on October first.

Yesterday, when we asked the DHS if the Government was still on track to re-open the PGIA on that date, he said that on Friday, all the relevant authorities visited the airport to conduct a detailed inspection of the COVID-related preparations. Here's what he said about his extended visit:

Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services
"I was there on Friday. I was there all day on Friday. We had a desktop exercise before the plane landed. We had all the relevant stakeholders there. BTB was there, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Customs, civil aviation authorities, the concession group that manages the airport. Everybody was there. The floor had already been kinda mapped out. There's an SOP. It's a living document, which is why we haven't shared it because you have to tweak it as we move along. I think it went fairly well, I mean, you have your usual hiccups usually by people's reaction, more than the actual process flow from what I observed when I was there, and people not filling [in] all the information prior to the plane landing. And so, you have that hiccup once people land here. We met after that to see all gray areas and try to make sure all those things don't happen. There is a flight this coming Friday, and the intention is to do a run as to what would happen once the airport opens. Follow that same process. Follow the same testing boots that have been constructed within the airport, the little health unit that has been built, see how that flows, go back to the drawing table, and make sure that you correct any mistakes that you may have made, in terms of the process flow - not mistakes in terms of the actual health process. Try to see how you can make it better, smoother for everybody, and you have another opportunity on September 25th, for when the airport opens. So, from the health standpoint, I think we're pretty confident that we could do a run this coming Friday, with a full health team there, and see how that will flow once the airport opens. You can only try it, and then, once the airport opens, it becomes a matter that - the real test then."

And, according to Dr. Manzanero, the Ministry of Health has also finalized its decisions on the types of rapid tests for COVID which will be administered to tourists when the airport is re-opened:

Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services
"The SD biosensor is already in-country. We have 5,000 of those. I spoke with the supplier of the Sofia 2, which is the other rapid test that we have already validated. We have validated the 2 rapid tests by now, and they have passed that initial trial phase and done at a flu clinic in Belize City. I was told the Sofia 2 will arrive on the Amerijet flight this week. We are also rolling the SD biosensor with symptomatic patients in Orange Walk later on in the week because you continue to do field tests. So, that should take care of what the trial run we want to do this Friday. But, remember, the repatriation process will entail, for now, testing with PCR. So, the reason we want to do rapid tests is to see how the process flow will become October 1st. So, if the Amerijet flight brings to Sofia 2, then we'll have the 2 rapid tests and ready to use them as of Friday."

Channel 7