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Five thousand test kits, over 7,000 personal protective equipment and additional ventilators to arrive shortly as Belize steps up Covid-19 containment efforts

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020. 4:29 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: In today’s “Ask the Experts” presentation, Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero reported that 5,000 test kits, 7,300 personal protective equipment (PPE) and additional ventilators are expected to arrive in-country shortly. Six (6) ventilators were expected to arrive in the country today and another 20 has been ordered.

Manzanero also reported today that $93,000 worth of test tubes have been ordered and that the initial budget of $900,000 to prevent and contain Covid-19 has already been spent.

The additional test kids and equipment will assist to expand the Ministry of Health’s in expanding the testing of individuals across the country. By testing individuals who the mapping exercise determine were exposed to Covid-19 and others patients with flu-like symptoms, the Ministry of Health is hoping to provide better coverage while reassuring Belizeans of exactly where we are with the Covid-19 containment efforts.  As of today, the Ministry of Health has conducted 86 tests, of which only two (2) cases tested positive for COVID-19. These two (2) patients are in self-isolation in San Pedro and San Pedro remains under a state of emergency.

The Ministry tested seven (7) persons who were immediate contacts of the first patient. Of those seven (7) persons tested, one (1) came back positive which is her mom. The other six (6) returned negative and will be retested within 14 days time to re-confirm that they are indeed negative.

BBN confirmed with health officials that although the 6 tests returned negative, they will be a second test within their 14 days of the exposure to confirm that they are indeed negative. This second test will be taken whether the persons are experiencing symptoms or not. The officials also noted that the 2 positive patients will also be tested again after recovering and before they are fully cleared by the Ministry.

The quarantine measures set in place by the Government will assist to contain COVID-19 and avoid any community transmission of the virus.


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