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Assessing Belize COVID-19 status – Recovery now at 51.7% and death rate at 1.3%

Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020. 11:44 pm CST.

By Hugh O’Brien: In today’s COVID-19 update, the Ministry of Health informed that after today’s testing, 70 more cases of COVID-19 are considered as recovered. This brings the total number of recovered cases to 812, representing 51.7% of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to the Ministry, 247 samples were processed today and 23 returned positive. This represents 9.3% of the samples processed today, and represents a lower percent of positive cases when compared to samples processed during the recent spike of cases in the country. In fact, over the course of Belize’s testing period, 1,590 cases tested positive and 9,790 cases tested negative to give an overall percent of about 14% positive tests. Of the 1,590 total cases detected, 758 (or 47.6%) remain active.

Twenty patients have died due to COVID-19 related symptoms since the pandemic began, and represents a 1.3% death rate so far in Belize (death rate here measured as a percent of total positive cases). However, it is too early to conclude whether the death rate will remain just at 1.3% or approach the 3.1% death rate that prevails worldwide. The main reason for this is that Belize still has a large number of active cases (ie. 758), most of which were recently detected, and these cases have to go through their motions before they are considered recovered. While we would hope that our country does not lose any more of our citizens to COVID-19, it is highly likely that Belize will experience more deaths from the currently active cases, as well as from new COVID-19 cases, and that the death rate may settle closer to 2% or somewhere between 2 and 3%.

In the COVID-19 update provided today, the Director of Health Services (DHS) ended on a positive note, highlighting that we have “more recovered 52.3% than active cases 47.7% at the moment! This is a significant shift. Let’s hope this continues this way”. However the DHS cautioned Belizeans not to drop their guard particularly during this Independence day weekend.


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