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As novel coronavirus spreads, Belize implements soft travel restrictions

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Ministry of Health (Belize)

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020. 11:37 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Recently, Breaking Belize News (BBN) began reporting on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) which originated in Wuhan, China and has now infected almost 10,000 people in almost 20 countries, and has been responsible for over 200 deaths. This represents a low mortality rate of 2%, and at this rate the mortality from this coronavirus is much lower than the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus outbreak in 2002 which had a mortality rate of almost 10%. However, the rapid rate that the ‘Wuhan’ coronavirus is spreading caused the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it as a public health event of international concern.

Following the WHO’s declaration, the Ministry of Health in Belize decided to “scale up its surveillance efforts at the principal ports of entry”.

While major travel bans are imposed in China, and the US implemented some travel restrictions of its own on other countries, the Ministry of Health has decided to implement some softer travel restrictions here in Belize.

In a release sent out late this evening, the Ministry of Health is informing the public that for those who were or are planning to travel to China from Belize, “it is recommended that those plans be postponed”.  In addition the Ministry informs that persons coming into Belize from China “will be subjected to quarantine protocols” on a case by case basis.

The Ministry is not recommending anyone to undertake non-essential travel to and from China, and that Belizeans living in China should not travel to Belize to avoid the novel coronavirus and to take necessary precautions to avoid getting infected.

The release ends advising that we must all take the universal precautions to avoid the spread of any respiratory infection.

 

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