BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 1, 2021– The COVID-19 vaccination program has officially begun in Belize with the immunization of three healthcare workers this Monday. During a press briefing by the Minister of Health and Wellness, we saw three frontline workers receive their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine. These persons are the first Belizeans to be vaccinated as a part of our vaccination rollout.
During the same press conference, Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño announced that 25,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive from India by March 6, 2021 — this coming Saturday. These additional doses will enable more persons in the priority groups to be immunized.
The vaccination rollout plan will consist of five phases, with phases 1-4 being divided into parts. The Ministry of Health and Wellness announced that while the vaccination program is underway, the Belizean public should ensure that they continue to adhere to all the regulations and keep their guards up against the virus. According to Minister Chebat, the decline in cases since December 2020 is giving the Ministry and the healthcare system some much-needed time to recuperate.
Since the start of the pandemic in Belize, 12,313 confirmed cases have been identified. Of all those persons who were found to be infected with the virus, 11,860 persons (96.3%) have since been classified as recovered. Unfortunately, our fatality rate stands at 2.55%, with 314 persons succumbing to COVID-19 complications since the start of the pandemic.
Recent data released from the Ministry of Health and Wellness for the period from Saturday, February 27, to Monday, March 1, 2021, revealed that a total of 20 new cases were identified from a batch of 1622 tests done. A total of 24 persons recovered from the virus within that period, and no new deaths were recorded. At the time of the release of the data, 4 active COVID-19 hospitalizations were recorded, with two persons in need of intensive care.
No COVID-19 infographic or update was published over this past weekend.
On February 26, the teams at the MOHW epidemiological unit recorded 13 new cases from a batch of 392 tests done. Also, on that day, 12 additional recoveries were recorded, and fortunately, no new death was logged.
Globally, a new vaccine has been added to the war-chest in the battle against the coronavirus. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for use in the US recently. Distribution of this third vaccine has already begun across that country, which is currently still seeing extraordinary COVID-19 numbers.
As new variants begin to grip that country, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, is calling on citizens to continue adhering to protocols. This request comes amid rollbacks to public health measures in some areas.
As of March 1, 2021, a total of 113,820,168 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,527,891 deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).