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Health agency upgrade to ‘Very High’ risk of coronavirus for the Caribbean

Posted: Saturday, March 7, 2020. 10:03 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Health says that it is aware of the upgraded risk of COVID-19 to ‘very high’ for the Caribbean as published by the Caribbean Public Health Agency.

The Ministry assures that its preparation process continues in this regard.

The upgrade was determined based on the increasing number of confirmed cases expanding worldwide to approximately 84 countries to date.

The threat for a case to be confirmed in Belize is now more imminent with cases now in the Caribbean, confirmed imported cases in Mexico, and Costa Rica confirming their first case yesterday, March 6th.

Due to the Ministry’s heightened surveillance, a suspected case was detected on the evening of March 5, 2020.

The case detected by the system was that of an individual presenting flu symptoms and who had been in a place where ongoing transmission had been reported.

The Ministry says that its surveillance team responded in a timely manner at all levels.

The individual was swabbed and the test resulted positive for H1N1 and negative for COVID-19; this was also processed late into the night on March 5th.

The Ministry continues to respond and follow up on all suspected cases, and continues to share information at several forums.

The response plan continues to be reviewed and adjusted based on new information. The Ministry maintains its strong relationships and commitments on specific activities going forward with several partners.

Yesterday, key meetings were held with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism and the Belize Tourism Board, as well as a meeting with relevant counterparts that form part of the National Emergency Management Organization platform.

The Ministry of Health thanked the foreign governments that have reached out in support of Belize’s national response, particularly the Cuban Ambassador, who has expressed the full commitment of the Cuban Brigade in the country’s national response.

The Ministry advises the public to stay informed of COVID-19 updates.

Be safe and consider developing a plan of action to reduce the risk of being infected at home, the workplace or when in crowd settings, especially in light of the many outdoor activities planned for this holiday weekend.


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