BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 24, 2020– Over the past few weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 has been rapidly increasing within Belize, and within that short time, 8 new coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed. To date, a total of 713 confirmed cases of the virus have been identified by the Ministry of Health’s epidemiological Unit. Today, during the Ask The Experts webinar, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, provided details on the most recent COVID-19-related deaths.
A female patient with a severe liver condition was transferred from San Pedro to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Her condition deteriorated quickly and she was swabbed before she passed away. That test was carried out using the GeneXpert platform, and the results indicated that the patient was infected with COVID-19. The seventh patient to die from COVID-19, identified as Natalio Wicab, a resident of San Felipe, Orange Walk, passed away over the weekend after being transferred to the KHMH. He first arrived at the Northern Regional Hospital with respiratory symptoms. His family believed that he was having a cardiac episode, since he had had no contact with any infected person and suffers from a cardiac condition, in addition to hypertension and diabetes. This patient and his son are employees of Caribbean Chicken. The company has since announced a lockdown of all branches countrywide.
The eighth fatality related to COVID-19 was a 65-year-old man, suffering from respiratory symptoms who was transferred from the Northern Regional Hospital to KHMH, but died after being hospitalized for about 5 days. The 9th Covid-19-related death is a resident of Caledonia Village, Corozal. He died on Monday after spending about one week in the KHMH COVID-19 isolation unit. The 10th and most recent COVID-19-related death is that of a mother who delivered a baby by C-section about a week ago. She previously tested positive for COVID-19 and was rushed to the KHMH today, but died a short while after.
Dr. Manzanero stated that five of the six persons who passed away as a result of COVID-19 had clots inside the lungs. He took the opportunity during the webinar to remind citizens of the importance of wearing a mask and shared some more detailed information on how the virus is spread. “Data suggests that in order for anybody to get infected with SARS COVID-2, you would require about 1000 viral particles to be inhaled into your system,” Dr. Manzanero said. He added, “In a normal respiratory process I can be shedding up to about 20 viral particles every minute with my mouth closed. If you do that math, it takes you 50 minutes more or less to shed 1000 viral particles if you are breathing air, two persons sitting down. That’s when people talk about close contact, high contacts, that’s what you would need to factor in.”
Late this evening the management of Chon Saan Palace informed the public that the restaurant has been closed in order to sanitize the establishment, since its owner, Lee Mark Chan, has tested positive for COVID-19.