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November 29, 2020

Ministry of Health and Wellness reiterates COVID-19 strategy

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Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2020. 6:27 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This evening, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reviewed its new strategy for fighting COVID-19 in a press statement.

As a priority, the strategy covers the following key areas: epidemiological surveillance, hospital and lab capacity, medical and pharmaceutical supplies and risk communication and education for behaviour change.

Immediately, the Ministry proposes to implement and scale up the use of rapid test in all district hospitals for symptomatic and close contacts; Hire additional staff including, for example, laboratory technicians, lab aides, contact tracers and data entry clerks; carry out Active Surveillance with Ministry of Health teams at private businesses, and establish testing sites outside of the hospital in accessible areas in urban communities and create two mobile swabbing teams for rural communities.

Under hospital services, the Ministry intends to hire additional human resources such as nurses, doctors, specialist health staff, support staff for deployment to all regional and community hospitals and acquire additional medical equipment and supplies.

On public measures, the following are in place:

Implement curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. for 21 days effective Saturday, November 28, 2020.
Restriction of gatherings remains at 10 people at general public places, including the immediate household.
Every organization is expected to implement work from home orders and/or staff shift rotation for employees.
Provide food packages and a stipend to families in quarantine in conjunction with the Ministry of Human Development, Families & Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
Provide hotel for persons who cannot quarantine at home.
Assess housing conditions to determine adequacy for isolation and/or quarantine.
Enforcement of Quarantine Measures in conjunction with the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries.
Provide accommodation and other logistics for health care personnel.
New Health Education Campaign to reach both public and private sector in collaboration with the media and Non-Governmental Organization.
Restaurants without outdoor dining to have takeout and delivery service only.
Outdoor restaurants may offer dining in services by reservation only, for no more than 50 per cent of its seating capacity.
Churches can conduct service but it remains at 10 persons maximum
Bars remain closed.
Gymnasiums are to remain closed.
The Ministry again calls on all Belizeans to continue to wear a face mask properly in public, maintain consistent physical distancing and wash and sanitize hands at every opportunity. Be safe and stay at home.

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