Ambergris Caye’s quarantine extended to 30 days; second positive COVID-19 case related to Patient 1
Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
San Pedro Town’s mandatory quarantine has been extended to 30 days after Belize registered its second COVID-19 (Coronavirus) case. The first case was announced on Monday, March 23rd by Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow, and on Wednesday, March 25th PM Barrow confirmed that the second positive case was the first patient’s mother. Upon the announcement of the initial quarantine on Monday around 3PM, the business sector on the island shut down, leading to the closure of restaurants, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations among others.
On Wednesday, March 25th, for three hours from 7AM to 10AM, supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies were allowed to open to give people the opportunity to get groceries. People lined up outside of the establishments waiting for their turn to go inside the stores. There was a limited amount of persons inside the stores to avoid overcrowding.
The San Pedro Police Formation monitored the activities around the stores and made sure they complied with the instructions to only sell essential items with the exception of alcohol. While there was some activity during those three hours, the town went back to silent mode as everyone is expected to be at home.
The 30-day quarantine came following the announcement of the results of the most recent batch of COVID-19 tests. A total of 34 samples were tested in Belize City on Tuesday, March 24th.
NO National Shutdown in effect
Prime Minister Dean Barrow began the latest Press Conference by declaring that there is NO national shutdown in effect. He implored Belizeans to stay calm, not to hoard goods, and to try and live as normally as possible within the confines of social distancing. He acknowledged that if there were to be a national shutdown, he is fully conscious of the economic downturn that comes with it, but “People come first. Once we feel that it [national shutdown] is absolutely warranted, we will act.” He added that the 30-day quarantine is extended but with the earnest hope that it can be lifted before.
The Belize Government re-emphasizes that Belizeans remain calm; fear is the most dangerous contagion. The most effective action each Belizean can take to secure the safety of themselves, their families and the country is to follow the hygiene rules. Washing hands with soap and water, using a sanitizer if necessary, covering a cough or sneeze, trying not to touch the eyes, nose or mouth, and immediately dispose of tissues if used to cover a cough or sneeze.
Remember to stay updated on official information concerning COVID-19. Visit the Government of Belize Press Office website at www.pressoffice.bz; or the Facebook pages for the Ministry of Health, the Director of Health Services, and the Government of Belize Press Office; or call the Ministry of Health’s hotline at 0-800-MOH-CARE.
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