Belize is a beautiful tropical country and a premier travel destination. Scuba divers from all over the world come here to enjoy the second largest barrier reef in the world while eco–tourists come for the lush rain forests and jungles. There are also historic and cultural attractions such as the ancient Maya pyramids and beautiful miles of white sandy beaches.
Yet, no paradise is isolated from the rest of the world and unfortunately, the latest pandemic has come to Belize. Recently, 2 cases of Covid-19 have been reported on Ambergris Caye, which is an island off the northern coast of Belize. This is not surprising, as this is also one of the most popular places for world travelers visiting Belize.
Because of these cases on Ambergris Caye, the government declared a 30-day state of emergency for the island. It also tracked down people who had been in immediate contact with the initial coronavirus case. Of the seven people tested, only one person tested positive. All others were negative. Both of the positive Covid-19 cases are currently in stable condition and are the only confirmed cases in Belize.
As part of its ongoing surveillance effort, further tests were run in other districts. They all came back negative.
In addition, as of March 25th, the Government of Belize issued a quarantine order. This order is quite comprehensive and provides for social isolation of society in general as well as the complete quarantine of any people who have symptoms of the disease.
One of the areas addressed by the order is public transportation – all bus operators will sanitize the bus between stops, having people disembark while that is done. Then, before people are allowed back on the bus, they must wash their hands at stations provided.
Additionally, all bars, gyms, saloons, casinos, etc., are now closed. Grocery stores are still open as are restaurants that serve take-out food; however, they can only allow customers to pick up food on the premises. Markers are to be placed indicating where people are to stand in line to get into a store and when they check out. A minimum distance of 3 feet is to be maintained between people at all times.
Belize has also closed down its borders. Anyone arriving into Belize must be quarantined for 14 days before being allowed into the country.
These may seem like harsh measures to take in a country that so far has very few cases of Covid-19, however, the authorities in Belize take their duty to flatten the curve and to protect citizens very seriously.
To assist in this mission, 32 members “Henry Reeve” Cuban Health Professionals arrived in Belize on March 25th and another 28 Cuban medical professionals arrived on the 26th. These teams will help support Belize’s response to the global pandemic. This Cuban Medical Professionals in Belizeprovides more information about the aid that Cuba is extending to Belize.
As can be seen, the government of Belize is taking the outbreak of the novel coronavirus seriously and is taking all appropriate steps to contain the spread of this global pandemic.