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American national tests positive for Covid-19 one week after departing Belize

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Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020. 10:49 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Late tonight, the Ministry of Health reported that several persons who had come into contact with an American visitor to Belize who has since tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. after departing Belize one week ago, have been placed in isolation.

While it is looking for others who have been in close contact, those identified so far are without any symptoms.

No numbers were given, nor was any indication of exactly who this person is, or where this person visited during their stay in Belize.

Before tonight’s announcement, there were no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize, and despite tonight’s announcement there are still no confirmed COVID-19 case in Belize. Up to Friday, 39 samples, mostly taken from individuals who had flu- or coronavirus-like symptoms have been specifically tested for COVID-19 and all came out negative. Today, the results of another 4 samples also came back negative for COVID-19.

The Ministry in an official statement said, “This case highlights the importance of adhering to the public health measures implemented by the Ministry and the Government of Belize. More importantly, it reiterates the critical importance of self-isolation. Therefore, any national or foreigner arriving in Belize has to be viewed as a potential case. ALL such persons, without exception, are therefore required to go into a 14-day self-isolation upon arrival.

If you have been in an area where there is ongoing transmission within the last 14 days, and are having any flu-like symptoms, please call 0-800-MOH-CARE. If you know of anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in Belize, please call us.

The Ministry of Health has implemented a heightened surveillance system across the country, and the staff continues to be engaged in multiple investigations in connection with the COVID-19 threat.”

The Government has closed the Northern border as of today, and the Philip Goldson International Airport will be closed except for emergencies by Monday.

The public is advised to stay informed and updated on the evolving COVID-19 situation by following the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Director of Health Services, and the Government Press Office. Updates can also be viewed at www.pressoffice.gov.bz and queries can be emailed to [email protected].

 

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