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COVID-19 will be among the top causes of deaths in Belize this year – what else is killing Belizeans?

Posted: Saturday, November 28, 2020. 1:37 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Lots of people think that people in Belize are dying only from COVID-19 in 2020 – it sure feels like it.

But an estimate by the website www.worldlifeexpectancy.com puts the newly discovered disease at only the fourth leading cause of death in Belize this year through this week.

There have been 141 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 through Friday, with more expected to come as at least 54 persons are hospitalized countrywide with the disease. As noted by Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat, many more are possibly walking around with the disease and there have been dire warnings that if more testing and contact tracing is not done, people can soon start dying on the streets and at home.

The World Life Expectancy projects that there will be more than 1,500 deaths nationwide of all causes in 2020.

As of Friday, COVID-19 was ranked fourth behind coronary heart disease (232 estimated deaths), HIV/AIDS (161 estimated deaths), and diabetes mellitus (144 estimated deaths) as a leading cause of death in Belize, and ahead of strokes (120 estimated deaths). Other leading causes of death in the top ten include general influenza and pneumonia (97); violence (97); kidney disease (76); road traffic accidents (61); and liver disease (51).

Note that these are simulated and compared to the historical average of selected Belize causes of death. Actual figures will be compiled and released by the Ministry of Health and Wellness sometime next year.

After slow growth in total cases and deaths between April 15 and August 1, when the total stood at approximately 48 cases and 2 deaths, there are now more than 100 times that many cases countrywide at 5,500 and counting, and the aforementioned 141 deaths. More people have recovered than are active, but the active rate of cases has hovered above 40 percent for weeks now.

We’ll have more in our series on what’s killing Belizeans, other than COVID-19, later on.


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