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COVID-19 Pandemic – What a difference a year makes?

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Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2021. 8:19 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This time last year, many Belizeans were celebrating the electoral success of the People’s United Party in general elections.

That day, there were 4,520 confirmed cases and 1,960 active cases. One year later, that number has more than tripled and the number of active cases is only slightly higher.

75 persons had died by that time, but Belize was days away from one of the deadliest stretches of the pandemic. Only two days later 10 deaths would be reported in a single day, and by December the numbers were steadily rising.

The pandemic would claim one parliamentarian, David “Dido” Vega, and fell several others including Prime Minister John Briceño himself.

A revision of the definition of recovery based on that of the World Health Organization (WHO) lopped thousands off the active list, and combined with the introduction of regular rapid testing plus PCR tests, Government tightened regulations and brought numbers steadily down up to the introduction of vaccines in March.

The arrival of the Delta variant among others has lifted figures again, but all indications suggest we may be trending in the right direction, despite having had more deaths and cases per capita since late September than more developed countries with higher populations such as the United States and Canada.

Perhaps the question now is, should we pursue zero COVID-19 or work around an endemic virus that is affecting relatively few? The days to come will hopefully provide answers to that.

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