Thursday, May 23, 2024

Immigration staff at PGIA test positive with COVID-19


The entire immigration staff assigned to the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) have been tested positive for COVID-19. They have since been removed and replaced with personnel from other ports of entry. Over 100 staff from other departments/areas of the airport were screened for the virus and tested negative.

File Photo

The infected public officers remain in isolation until they are cleared. According to the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Honourable Michel Chebat, 17 immigration officers tested positive for the disease. His ministry has since done further testing and speeding up the vaccination of all frontline staff across the country. It was learned that a handful of the sick immigration personnel had been vaccinated. The state of the infected team is unknown.

The source of the infection is suspected of coming from an immigration department vehicle. Its driver tested positive.

The PGIA has become busier over the past weeks. Minister of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, the Honourable Andre Perez, pointed out that on Saturday, June 26th, about 20 international flights landed at the PGIA. According to him, these flights were full and were also full when departing. The rate of arrivals at the international airport is expected to increase by 70% in August. Perez appeals to the Belizean people to do their part and follow the COVID-19 regulations to flatten the increasing number of infections. Perez warned that if cases continue to increase, the country could face a lockdown; a measure that could cripple the struggling economy and send Belizeans back to the dark days experienced in 2020.

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