BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 22, 2021– The world is approaching the one-year mark since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. That announcement, which sent the nations of the world into a lockdown, was made by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. Since then, about 2.4 million persons have lost their lives as a result of the virus, and over 112 million have been infected.
The vaccination efforts are the only glimmer of hope in these very uncertain times, and recent data released by the Pan American Health Organization suggests that 70% of the world’s population would have to be vaccinated in order to get control of the novel coronavirus.
A disparity in this rollout is already being seen. Larger developed countries have already begun their vaccination efforts internally, while the inoculation program in underdeveloped countries, many of whom have been hit far worse by the pandemic, still lags behind.
Many of these countries, including Belize, are depending on the COVAX facility and PAHO to begin their local vaccination campaigns. In Belize, around 30% of the population is expected to be immunized in the first phase of the vaccine rollout.
In regards to recent COVID-19 statistics released within the country, we continue to see a significant decline in the number of new cases recorded each day. Also, fortunately, according to the data released by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, we have recorded no new deaths since February 17, 2021.
Between February 21 and 22, a total of 11 new cases were recorded after a total of 484 persons were tested, which amounts to a daily positivity rate of 2.29%. Seven hospitalizations were recorded within that time, with 4 persons in need of intensive care. Also, a total of 38 recoveries were recorded on that day. At this time, 96.2% of persons in Belize have recovered from the coronavirus.
Sadly, as previously reported, 314 deaths have occurred since the start of the pandemic in Belize. Our case fatality rate now stands at 2.56%. In total, 12,255 confirmed cases have been recorded across the country over a period of 11 months. Of that number, 11,787 persons have recovered. Currently, we have 154 active cases within the country.
No new data was released on Saturday, February 20, 2021.
On Friday of last week, however, 21 new cases were identified from a batch of 427 tests done. No new deaths were recorded. A total of 16 recoveries were also documented.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to urge all citizens, residents, and visitors to the country to adhere to all the health guidelines and not let their guards down. This Ministry is also asking persons with no essential business to limit movement and stay at home as much as possible.
Since the lifting of the curfew, officials have noticed an increase in movement. Since the virus is transported through people, this increase may cause additional cases to appear. With new, more contagious, and in some cases, more deadly, variants spreading across the world, the lax behavior is a concern for the Ministry.
At this time, genotype testing for new variants of the coronavirus in Belize is currently being conducted by two institutions outside the country. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is still awaiting the results of these tests.
Internationally, during the virtual G7 summit which took place on Friday, the wealthy countries of the world committed $7.5 billion to the COVAX facility. President of the United States, Joe Biden, previously pledged $4 billion to the COVAX facility. The disbursement of the funds will take place over the next three years, with $2 billion being donated for 2021.
Globally, as of 2:15 p.m. CET, February 22, 2021, there have been 111,102,016 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,462,911 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.