Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020. 10:26 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Ambergris Caye residents are not happy with the way the government has handled the COVID-19 pandemic on the island and have come together to form Change for San Pedro (CSP), a community group geared towards expressing the collective concerns of islanders to municipal and national authorities.
The group said that it was formed “as a matter of urgency,” in response to the economical, infrastructural, and provisional neglect the island of Ambergris Caye has experienced. The (CSP) committed to demanding that authorities acknowledge its concerns by way of petitions, peaceful protests, and other actions.
“As a result of improper monitoring of free-flowing traffic to the island prior to the latest lockdown, and a lack of procedural policy enforcement, Ambergris Caye has been labeled and scrutinized as being the “epicenter” of the Covid-19 virus. The immediate calls to concern by the residents are in regards to the current state of the lockdown of Ambergris Caye, and how it has been addressed and managed by the Central Government of Belize thus far,” the CSP said.
The group’s first act following its formation was to make a call for the government to make several amendments to the actions being taken within the national COVID-19 response, with a view to ensuring equitable treatment for the residents of San Pedro. Those demands include the immediate readjustment of the curfew on San Pedro, currently from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., to match the remainder of the country, which starts at 9:00 p.m. The group also calls for the restriction of non-island residents to enter San Pedro up to October 1.
“The Ministry of Health in San Pedro needs to be allocated with additional test kits in order to properly test residents, especially those displaying COVID-related symptoms. Currently, the flu clinic is turning away many residents who are requesting tests. In order to offset the effects of the latest lockdown of Ambergris Caye, extend the Food Pantry program until September 19, 2020,” the group added.
The CSP has also called for the immediate resumption of subsistence fishing immediately allow fishing for the purpose of sustenance and the resumption of construction activities on the island using San Pedro residents only until the State of emergency is lifted for the country.
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