By Aaron Humes: For the moment at least, Prime Minister John Briceno has ruled out stricter regulations to arrest the current rise in cases of COVID-19 countrywide.
Just months removed from the end of the parade of statutory instruments on COVID-19 public health regulations in March, numbers of active cases have climbed past 1,200 and continue to rise.
Even a year ago at this time, public functions and events were heavily restricted, but now, graduations, weddings, birthday parties, and even concerts have been given the green light by the government.
And that, says the P.M., is the point, as he introduced the comparison with a heavy cold: “I think what is important with COVID, it seems the way it is progressing, it is turning more into a serious cold, that does not say it is not important to monitor it, but it’s becoming more a serious cold and if you look at the number of hospitalizations, it has not increased and I think that it what we need to be looking at, the hospitalizations, and we’re not seeing the hospitalizations going up.”
Indeed, Thursday’s figures from the Ministry of Health and Wellness show just two persons hospitalized with the virus countrywide.
The Prime Minister added, “I really think we need to take a closer look at sending people home because they have COVID, or maybe we need to reduce the time, cut it down to a few days, because a lot of people are losing work because of COVID when we know I think it’s only five days that you are infectious and then after that, you’re not so we need to take a look at that because people need to get back to work.”
The Ministry has focused its efforts on getting key sectors of the population, including those between five and 11 years of age, vaccinated before the end of the school year, and boosting coverage enough to ensure face-to-face learning returns in full in August.
In the meantime, Belizeans are encouraged to wear their masks in indoor areas, especially those with air conditioning; employ social distancing where needed; practice proper hygiene including hand-washing, and be responsible and avoid places where you can get the virus. Also, be sure to obtain your vaccination and booster at proper intervals.