BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 14, 2020– The Ministry of Health, through the Office of the Director of Health Services, has been consistently providing up-to-date data regarding cases of COVID-19 in Belize.
Data released tonight, Monday, September 14, revealed that the confirmed cases now stand at 1,501, with 540 recovered cases. The deaths remain at 19. Active cases are at 942.
As of Sunday, September 13, 2020, a total of 1,480 confirmed cases had been recorded in the country; of that number, 969 remained active infections; 492 persons have recovered and the deaths of a total of 19 persons who were infected with the virus have been recorded.
The three persons who most recently lost their lives as a result of the virus were all male. The first two of these deaths were made public on September 9. One man succumbed at the Western Regional Hospital and another died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Two days later, on September 11, it was announced that a resident of San Ignacio, identified as Rolando Torres, died while receiving treatment in an isolated area in the Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. He passed away days after being transferred from the Western Regional Hospital, where he was identified as a highly suspected case, since, according to Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services (DHS), a member of his family tested positive and he was experiencing respiratory difficulties.
Torres did not initially test positive when the Genexpert test was administered, and was moved to an isolated area in the ICU that was not specifically designated for COVID-19 patients. According to the DHS, he was later tested using the routine PCR test, and that result came back positive.
Staff members of the KHMH have raised concern about possible exposure caused by the mismanagement of this case.
According to the infographic highlighting the distribution of active cases across the country, as of September 7, the majority of active cases have been in the Orange Walk District, where a total of 382 infections are recorded.
In San Pedro, 172 cases are still active, and in other parts of the Belize District we see 147 active cases. Cayo had 123 active cases, and 116 were recorded in Corozal at that time.
In the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts respectively, 28 and 9 active cases are recorded. Data from over the past 6 days shows an additional 173 cases. On September 13, 22 new cases were confirmed; on the 12th, 23 persons were found to be infected with the virus, as well.
On the 10th and 11th of September respectively, 34 and 36 new cases were identified. Only 4 cases were found on September 9, all in Ladyville, and 54 new infections were recorded on September 8, 2020.
Data from the State of Quintana Roo, our direct neighbor to the north, shows a total of 2,819 confirmed cases with 151 recorded deaths as of September 9, 2020; these numbers include the municipality of Othon P. Blanco, where Chetumal is located.
According to Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), a total of 27,900 cases have been confirmed across member states as of September 7, with the majority of infections showing up in persons between the ages of 20 and 59.
The data from CARPHA also highlights that the majority of infections are showing up in females across member states. The data outlines that 55% of cases where gender is recorded have turned out to be female, and 45% male.
However, in Belize, the numbers show a majority of male infections, with males constituting 53.7 % of total recorded cases, according to the office of the Director of Health Services.
Also, a number of treatments for the virus are currently being investigated and tested by various labs and medical personnel in several countries. These treatments are focused on controlling the symptoms of the COVID-19 infection in order to prevent the development of complications.
These treatments include hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, both of which are anti-malarial drugs, and also Lopinavar and Ritonavir, both anti-HIV drugs. It must be reiterated that these drugs are being used in controlled environments for investigational purposes, and must not be used by individuals in the public.
CARPHA also said that clinical trials are also ongoing for over 34 vaccines, with 9 currently at stage 3, the last stage before they are released for public distribution.
Typically, vaccines require many years of research and testing before making their way to the population, but scientists from all over the world are working tirelessly to create a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine by 2021.
Belize has submitted a letter of interest to the World Health Organization’s Covax facility for possible access when a vaccine is approved.