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One year later, a look at COVID-19 in Belize

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Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021. 8:07 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma: Today marks 1 year since the Ministry of Health identified the first case of COVID-19 in Belize.

A lot has changed since then and restrictions remain the norm.

Countries around the world including Belize went on lockdown and strict measures were implemented in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Landmark events were canceled, classes were closed and businesses were shut down.

Around the world, health experts and Government leaders are still grappling to deal with COVID-19 response.

Restrictions around the globe remain the norm with mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing and curfew.

Since then, health officials in Belize have conducted 95,000 tests and have identified 12,410 cases of COVID-19.

The case fatality rate is at 2.55% with 316 deaths.

On Sunday, April 4, 2020, the virus claimed the life of Hubert Pipersburgh. He was the first patient in Belize to die of COVID-19.

The country was devastated at his passing. He was eulogized as a well-known and renowned Belizean who served his country at home and in the diaspora.

At the time, then Prime Minister Dean Barrow called on Belizeans to take heed to all precautionary measures to protect themselves and their families.

Shortly after, more confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported and families were mourning their loved ones more often to the cause of the deadly virus.

The nation joined families in spirit, mourning the loss of each COVID-19 patient fatality.

The Government then increased testing efforts to identify cases and urged the public to remain in quarantine.

Several regulations remain in effect but have been amended as slow relaxations continue.

While borders remain closed, the Philip Goldson Airport has reopened and travelers to Belize are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon entry.

However, vaccinated travelers are no longer required to provide the negative test just as long as they provide proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Classes remain closed with educators, parents and students engaged in distance learning activities.

Businesses have adapted to a new way, implementing social distancing rules and sanitizing customers upon entering.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness vaccination campaign continues.

To date, 16,202 people in Belize have been vaccinated. There are 39 active cases of COVID-19 and the daily positivity rate has seen a decline.

The recovery rate is at 97.1% and 2 patients remain hospitalized.

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