BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 22, 2021– As phase one of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout proceeds, the Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to call all persons eligible to receive their first shot of the vaccination to reach out to vaccination sites across the country. As of Friday, March 19, a total of 15,006 vaccines have been administered to Belizean citizens. On that day alone (March 19), 1,856 persons received their initial jab.
Among those persons were Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Patrick Faber, and several media personnel. According to reports, teachers and media workers have begun to receive vaccinations as a part of phase 2(a); however, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Michel Chebat, announced on Saturday that the country is currently still in phase one of the vaccination rollout.
According to Minister Chebat, a total of 65% of healthcare workers — which amounts to approximately 2600 persons, have received a dose of the vaccine. Also, around 30% of persons over the age of 60 — a total of about 9,000 senior citizens — have come out for their shot.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 12,407 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been logged in the country. Of that number 12,031 infected persons have recovered from the deadly virus. To date, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) has recorded 316 deaths related to Covid-19. Also, a total of 94,455 tests have been conducted throughout the country since the start of the outbreak locally.
On Monday, March 22, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) released data covering new COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths that were reported over the weekend and on Monday. A total of 1,352 tests were conducted during that period, and over the past three days, a total of 7 new cases of the virus have been identified. Also, 5 new recoveries were announced, and thus our case recovery percentage now stands at 97.0%. Fortunately, no new fatalities caused by Covid-19 have been recorded. Our case fatality rate is currently 2.55%. Two active hospitalizations have been recorded.
On March 19, one (1) new case of the virus was found from a batch of 394 samples processed by the epidemiological team inside the Ministry of Health and Wellness. On that day, two new recoveries were logged and 1 hospitalization was reported. No new deaths related to Covid-19 were identified on that day.
On March 18, 2021, 1,207 persons were vaccinated throughout the country.
At this time, according to Reuters, Belize is seeing an average of four new infections reported daily. This is a marked decrease compared to the number of new cases seen daily in December 2020.
Internationally, the Biden administration in the US has decided to loan about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada and Mexico as the company awaits approvals in the US.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have not been authorized in the US for use as yet; however, inoculation programs in Canada and Mexico are well on their way, and are administering doses of the serum from AstraZeneca.
According to AstraZeneca, recent data from a US-based clinical trial shows the vaccine to have a 79% rate of efficacy against symptomatic disease.
In Brazil, vaccination rollouts have lagged as the third surge of infections continues to bring that country’s healthcare system to its knees. As of Friday, March 19, the COVID-19 wards in healthcare facilities in 16 of the 26 states have reached or surpassed 90% occupancy. This means that the healthcare systems in those areas have collapsed or are at a high risk of collapsing.
According to the World Health Organization, as of March 22, 2021, a total of 122,992,844 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified globally. Also, 2,711,071 deaths due to the virus have been reported to WHO. As of March 20, 397,950,709, vaccine doses have been administered across the world.