Wednesday, July 24, 2024

COVID-19 Enforcement Unit to provide new jobs


Early in October Cabinet approved the establishment of a COVID-19 Enforcement Unit within the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to help enforce the health and safety measures, particularly in businesses. MOHW’s minister the Honourable Michel Chebat said on Monday, October 18th, that the implementation of this task force will start on November 1st employing over 100 persons across the country.

The main task of this group will be to make sure people and businesses adhere to the COVID-19 health protocols. Chebat explained that this enforcement unit will be made of people from within the communities across the country. A handful of islanders can expect to be part of this task force and apply for the job. More information can be obtained through members of the health department. Some of the qualifications are to have a high school diploma and some level of public relations.

According to Chebat, they are looking at hiring around 145 persons. “We need a team that is more sensitive, a team that understands that their task, perhaps in the first instance, is to educate people about what the measures are and about the importance of adhering to them,” said Chebat. He said that such task force members will have the authorization to issue tickets to anyone violating the health safety measures. Chebat added that the police and MOHW will provide training to the COVID-19 Enforcement Unit to do get the job done. The unit should not be foreseen as a threat, but as an assistant, who primarily aims to educate people on the seriousness of the pandemic and why the established safety measures need to be followed.

Chebat said that members of the enforcement unit will wear a vest and a badge identifying them.  The task force is also expected to work closely with the police and seek their assistance if needed.

The rise in COVID-19 cases across Belize is associated with the Delta variant. The total number of cases in the country is approaching 3,000 and government continues to urge the public to get vaccinated. There are vaccination centers available countrywide and vaccines doses are free. The government is also opening additional testing centers across the country, where people suspecting to be sick with the virus can get tested at no cost. Of importance to note is that testing done at governmental facilities will not be provided for travel purposes. Anyone needing a Covid test for traveling out of the country needs to get that service at a private institution.

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