Government forms coronavirus task force, oversight committee
March 12, 2020
Stay safe: Wash hands adequately
March 12, 2020

Director of Health Services: two samples to be tested

Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020. 3:46 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Two samples are to be tested for potential coronavirus later today, says Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero.

However, he says they are not expected to follow clinical patterns for the virus.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor activity at the borders in conjunction with the Immigration Department but for now most imported cases have come in as asymptomatic patients.

The team is guided by scientific data and not by news headlines, he added.

A second batch of test kits has arrived, giving Belize the ability to test and supported by the regional experience.

Belize has three levels of response, starting with when the first case arrives, most likely from a returning national or visting tourists.

For now the gospel of limited social interaction is in place: wash hands, be careful of touching.

The next level is a cluster of local transmission followed by greater transmission nationally, which will result in national lockdown. El Salvador is the only regional country in virtual lockdown without, according to Dr. Manzanero, any reported cases.

Far from panic, Dr. Manzanero says it is an opportunity to come together and work to ensure that the virus does not spread, but neither be afraid of reporting the first case, as that is an opportunity to contain and eliminate it.


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