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19 banana farms being monitored for possible COVID-19 clusters as cases detected in workers

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Posted: Friday, October 30, 2020. 9:31 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: As COVID-19 continues to spread across Belize, the Ministry of Health is concerned and has begun to monitor 19 banana farms in the Stann Creek and northern Toledo districts. This is particularly because cases have been detected in residents who live in Bella Vista but work in banana plantations in the Riversdale area and other banana farms near Independence village.

According to the the Director of Health Services (DHS), the social and work conditions are not the best on these farms. With no real mask wearing and lots of social interactions while working, the Regional Health Manager, described the conditions as “adequate petri dishes for something to explode”. In addition, field workers living in barracks and little social distancing between workers in the packing sheds create an adequate environment for COVID-19 to spread further.

As a result, random samples are being taken from workers of the 19 banana farms in Belize in order to try and contain COVID-19 within the farms where infections have been identified.

In the meantime, Breaking Belize News (BBN) understands that there is no immediate threat to the exportation of bananas from Belize.

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