Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2020. 8:15 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Around the globe, health experts are grappling with the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
Experts are dealing with preparations, quarantines and travel restrictions.
The Office of the Director of Health Services informed today that as part of the preparation process for COVID-19, the series of meetings and partners engaged last week are the following:
- The National Intelligence Committee was debriefed and alerted of the potential disruption of normal / routine activities and the potential role they would have in any potential quarantine of a local area vs. a wider area.
- The Social Security Board has been engaged given the potential increase in sick leave that this could have and they are working in tandem with us as part of the national response.
- We have gotten assurance from the Cuban Ambassador in terms of support for the national response, the Cuban Brigade in country would be part of that initial response. We also had a visit from the Japanese Ambassador in Belize given the non-essential travel notes we have.
- Ministry of Education’s local and district managers along with staff from the head office participated in a sensitization session on COVID-19 and an initial agreement to ensure that elements of the curriculum over the next two weeks reflect our key public health messages of prevention. The hand washing and proper respiratory etiquette along with keeping those ill at home were emphasized. We also discussed the possible change in school calendar as part of the national response.
- A virtual sensitization was held with Ministry of Tourism and BTB stakeholders where the elements of prevention at their local level was stressed. We also reminded those in the hotel industry of the Tourism in Health Project which would have hotel management be the initial alerts for any health issue of public health relevance, this project was actually launched in October of 2018. We also discussed the potential implications it has for the tourism industry as we were alerted that cancellations in some areas had already started.
- The influenza preparedness plan, in light of COVID-19 was again reviewed with the PAHO country office, particularly as the COVID-19 is evolving and we are reviewing as this moves along.
The Director of Health Services says that the office will be providing updates on activities with other stakeholders.
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