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Saturday, April 4, 2020
Home Letters Coronavirus – a coming emergency: Romel Cuello

Coronavirus – a coming emergency: Romel Cuello

Dear Editor,
The coronavirus is coming, or might be here already, and we do not even know it.

Are we ready? Like a snowball in hell. Not even the USA’s healthcare system is as ready as it should be.

Our healthcare system is worse, especially here in Orange Walk. Sometime around the Christmas season, my six-year-old granddaughter was having gastrointestinal problems and was howling with pain. We would usually take her to a private doctor, but unfortunately, none was available; imagine that, in Orange Walk Town.

She was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where she was supposed to go to the emergency area. The nurse, however, promptly informed her mom that it was not an emergency and put them out, with the child still howling.

Thank God her grandmother remembered one private doctor that they hadn’t checked, and the child was quickly relieved of her pain.

Other persons have told me of being treated in the same manner. There was no disease outbreak that we know of, to account for the regional hospital’s inability to handle such cases.

Italy went from 3 confirmed cases of coronavirus to 300 in four days. They now have thousands.

What will Belize do if we get 100 cases? This is a respiratory illness, and many of us will suffer and perish.

My younger brother was stricken with hemorrhagic dengue and we took him to a private clinic here in Orange Walk; after two days in the clinic, the doctor informed us that he couldn’t do anything else to stop the bleeding, and told us to take him to Chetumal, not Belize, if we wished to heal him.

In Chetumal, the doctors quickly treated and healed him. He lived; if he had stayed here, we would have lost him.

What can we do? I once heard PM Barrow state that he was going to be the most socialist PM for Belize.

The socialists’ biggest concerns are land reform and healthcare. Now is the chance for the PM to take some of those hundreds of millions of dollars the Social Security Fund is sitting on and invest it in healthcare for the working Belizean population.

We need hospitals and doctors. Invest in these. Persons who are not insured with the scheme can attend and be charged as they would be at a private clinic. That would bring profits to the fund and save lots of lives. You can also bet that many more persons would insist on getting insured with Social Security.

This is a coming emergency; let’s not wait till it lands on us like a ton of bricks..

Romel Cuello

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