Hillside Health Care International

COVID-19 Impact on Belize
11
September

In Belize, the coronavirus cases continue to increase daily since the middle of August. Until the end of July 2020, Belize had 48 SARS-COV2 confirmed cases, of which 30 were recovered cases, 16 active cases, and two deaths.

At that time, Belize appeared to have the COVID situation under control, so people began to host and join large gatherings. However, on September 1, the COVID positive cases skyrocketed to 1050 confirmed cases, including 213 recovered cases, 824 active cases, and 13 deaths. There were 865 active cases, and all hospital beds with ventilators occupied. Still, as the patients recovered, the number of active cases reduced. Up to the end of August, the confirmed cases also included 43 healthcare workers in Belize who tested positive for the coronavirus. From time to time, where there is a confirmed case at individual businesses or establishments, those places are closed for proper sanitation before reopening. This spike in positive cases has contributed to the further delayed reopening of the international airport to October 1, 2020. The COVID situation needs to be under control before reopening to tourists and returning Belizeans.

All businesses must have handwashing stations, social distancing measures, and enforce proper mask-wearing. Some companies and facilities, including the Ministry of Health facilities, operate by appointment only, to minimize the risk of COVID-19. Patients must call the medical facility to make appointments to see the doctor to reduce waiting times and limit gathering at the Hospital and call in to order refills.

Schools remain closed with plans to reopen for distance education only on September 7 for primary schools and October 5 for secondary schools. The public transportation – buses operate on a limited schedule that does not conflict with the national curfew hours of 9 pm to 5 am daily. The local airlines operate on a limited schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, primarily for cargo services. Everyone must wear a mask on the bus. The busses are regularly sanitized, especially since it is more difficult to maintain 6 feet social distance while traveling.

Simultaneously, most people remain unemployed (primarily only teachers and public service
employees are working). The public patiently awaits the possible approval and arrival of the second
12 weeks of unemployment assistance to their bank accounts.

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