Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020. 2:16 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: CNN is reporting that the second death outside of the Asian continent due to the novel coronavirus strain (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Europe.
The latest update, released earlier today says that an 80-year-old man in France, who had been receiving treatment for COVID-19 since January 25th recently died.
CNN also notes that the number of confirmed cases for COVIID-19 globally now stands at 68,500 as of this morning. The number represents an increase of 2,009 cases in China alone. China also saw an additional 142 deaths yesterday, bringing the global number of deaths to 1,669, with only four of those being outside of mainland China.
Last week Belize’s Ministry of Health gave an update on both the global situation regarding COVID-19 and Belize’s preparatory efforts. Dr. Russle Manzanero, Epidemiologist at the MOH, said that globally, deaths from the virus have occurred mostly in persons above the age of 65 who were already battling other health conditions. The latest death in France supports that trend.
The Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, said that it is only a matter of time before the virus reaches Belize, and noted that even if it does not make it to Belize during this current outbreak, it can always come at another time given that COVID-19 is an influenza virus and as such will be among those viruses being transmitted during the flu season. The Ministry is expected to give an update later this week on its ability to test for COVID-19 in the country, following the return of a government lab technician who was training in Mexico on how to identify the virus, as well as the procurement of the necessary supplies to perform the tests.
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