Sunday, April 14, 2024

Island COVID-19 cases on the rise; people urged to get vaccinated

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The latest update on COVID-19 in San Pedro Town indicates that cases are on the rise. Over the past days, the number of infected persons has significantly increased, and as of Monday, June 28th, reliable reports indicate 14 active COVID-19 cases on the island, with more to be confirmed. Some of the people testing positive for the virus work in the service industry (restaurants, water taxis, tour operators, gyms), while the rest are tourists.

According to medical personnel on the island, the state of these persons is stable, and no one has required further healthcare. These people will remain in isolation for about ten days before they are again tested. In the case of the tourists, they will not be allowed to leave the country until they test negative for the virus.

Caye Caulker has reported one person, a Belizean, testing positive for COVID-19.

The cause for the increase in COVID-19 cases is attributed to poor enforcement of the COVID-19 regulations. According to Dr. Joshua Canul at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, islanders bring down their guard. People are not wearing face masks, social distancing is not respected, and beach parties have become a routine. Proper hand hygiene has reportedly not been followed as well.

Area Representative and health representatives urge vaccination

Dr. Canul stressed the importance of all those eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine. He said that Belizeans should be on the lookout for different variants detected in other countries. The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to test for the variants that could already be in the country. “Studies have shown that the vaccine helps to minimize the severe symptoms,” said Dr. Canul. However, a lot of people are still hesitant to get the vaccine.

Dr. Canul reminds those on the island who have yet to get the jab to do so as soon as possible. Vaccinations are offered Monday to Thursday from 1-3:30PM and on Fridays from 8-12noon at the Lions Den. “It is important for people to take the time to be vaccinated,” he said. The vaccination process can take less than an hour. He stated that the turnout has been low over the past few days and encourages individuals and companies to encourage their employees to get vaccinated.

Area Representative, Honourable Andre Perez agrees that the island community must be careful and not let down its guard. “Because we are all moving around and tourism is rebounding back quicker than expected it can easily come to a shutdown. We really do not want,” said Perez. He asked everyone’s cooperation to control the rise in cases. Perez made a call to everyone, particularly in the service industry to get vaccinated. He highlighted that when an establishment lets the public know that their staff is vaccinated it will attract more toursim business. The more vaccinated people on the island, the better for the tourism industry, which is expected to grow busier in the upcoming months.

Over 5,000 persons have received the jab in San Pedro. With a population of around $20,000, more San Pedranos need to head to the vaccination centre to get their vaccine. As of now, over 80,000 Belizeans have been vaccinated countrywide with the both AstraZeneca and Sinpharm jab.

 

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