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Marvin Manzanero: “Next 7-10 days critical” in fighting COVID-19

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020. 2:56 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: With the borders now sealed, the next 7 to 10 days are critical for assessment of how COVID-19 may spread, according to Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero.

Belize has so far kept the number of cases at two, both on the island of Ambergris Caye.

Time will tell as to whether Ambergris will continue to be the epicenter.

Epidemiologist, Dr. Russell Manzanero, noted that Belize is in the middle of flu season and there is a general increase in the number of flu-like symptoms reported, hence testing for the usual flu-related illnesses followed by the specific test for COVID-19.

So far, even suspected cases which have travelled to affected areas or contacted positive cases have tested negative. Follow-up tests will be conducted within 14 days of the initial test.

Dr. Manzanero repeated that markets can stay open if social distancing rules apply, but bars must close.

And as for those who want to get back to Ambergris, Dr. Manzanero allowed that those with other health conditions may be allowed to leave provided they are screened before they leave and after they arrive and if they go to the island they must be put in self-isolation.

Central Medical Laboratory in Belize City is the sole authority for testing but others are being looked at.

Comments on the Facebook stream are insisting that San Pedranos are flouting in the emergency order; the DHS maintains that while life must go on, even in a national state of emergency, essential services must be available and people must continue to follow guidelines.


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