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From contact tracing to containment and the limits of the Belize health system

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Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2020. 4:35 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero outlined the limitations of the Belizean health system in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital already has six ventilators and will get six more by the end of this week, it is the only facility with staff trained as intensivists, in charge of managing critically ill patients. Ten internists are spread out nationwide.

Generally, ventilators are reserved for the most critically ill patients and are thus not the cause of COVID-19 death or indeed illnesses involving respiratory or cardiac disease.

Testing and contact tracing remain limited and the focus now, Dr. Manzanero says, is containing the spread, particularly in San Pedro Town.

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