With the confirmation of Belize’s 3rd coronavirus case, the Government of Belize has announced a NATIONWIDE state of emergency to be effective midnight April 2nd, 2020. Signed by the Governor General Sir Colville Young, the decision for a nationwide shutdown is to enforce social distancing and quarantine measures for all Belizeans. Belize’s 3rd confirmed case comes from the country’s most densely populated location, Belize City. This state of emergency for the country of Belize will last for 30 days.
While 2 of the 3 cases have been classed as imported from outside of Belizean borders, the nationwide state of emergency is to pave the way for efforts to overcome a possible outbreak via community spread. Major takeaways from the national address includes the following:
- A daily national curfew for 30 days from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am. During the day, Belizeans are strongly advised to remain indoors unless essential supplies or services are required.
- Though announced today, March 30th, it includes a two-day notice. The public and national officials will prepare for scheduling, food supplies, and all else.
- Within the two-day grace period, a list of essential services and workers will be finalized by the Government. All non-essential services and workers not included will need to close.
- Essential services will stay open during the state of emergency. This includes banking institutions, pharmacies, supermarkets, and grocery stores.
- After national assessments, Belize’s locally-produced goods are stable. The food supply chain of basic staples (beans, rice, eggs, meat, vegetables, etc.) remains secure for months to come. Local suppliers will proceed uninterrupted for food provisions, while cargo remains open for essential imports to continue.
- Belize’s local health team are preparing for the battle ahead with essential equipment resources.
- The Prime Minister outlines a national budget for the economic relief of COVID-19. The Government of Belize is actively working to lobby to double the previously mentioned $75 million dollar COVID-19 fund. Disbursements of economic aid is scheduled to begin this week. Belize’s Food Assistance Program is also expanding.
A media-only press conference will be held tomorrow, March 31st, 2020, at 10:00 am to outline the details of the current COVID-19 Situation in Belize. A live stream online will be available at the Government Press Office’s Facebook page. The press conference will be hosted by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and Leader of the Opposition John Briceño.
If you have any questions or looking for further information please ASK THE EXPERTS today, March 30th at 4:00 p.m. Viewers can ask questions in the comment section during the live webcast.