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Belizean student returning from China cleared by the Ministry of Health at northern border

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Posted: Friday, February 7, 2020. 2:32 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Last night, a social media post went viral on the Internet when a Belizean posted on Facebook claiming to have seen medical authorities testing someone who was suspected of having the Wuhan coronavirus at the Northern Border in Belize.

However, today the Ministry of Health issued a statement clarifying those allegations made on social media.

“Our surveillance team had been alerted days ago of a Belizean student returning from China; surveillance and screening measures had been set up for his arrival at that border. It should be noted that the student went through four border entrances where he was cleared at all points prior to his arrival in Belize. That student is asymptomatic and was never ill. The student departed China for reasons not related to any illness but rather as a result of the current social situations in China. The student was interviewed and cleared by health officials,” the Ministry informed.

The Ministry also noted that prior to his arrival, the student’s family had been prepared in terms of mechanisms to be implemented for isolation as a precautionary measure.

The student will remain in isolation and has no positive epidemiological link to any coronavirus case.

The Ministry regrets this unfortunate situation that the individual and his family endured last night and continues to endure even today, and urges all to be respectful of the importance of the privacy of persons involved, and by extension, the family and the health professionals throughout these surveillance processes.

Furthermore, this situation gives the Ministry an opportunity to review and strengthen its procedures and processes for frontline workers at border entries.

The Ministry of Health reminds the public of the need to ensure that information shared is adequately sourced and validated as the spread of panic does not help any systems in place.

The Ministry says that it continues its active surveillance activities across the country and has had the active involvement of multiple partners at all levels

 

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