BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 1, 2021– On February 1, the Ministry of Health and Wellness enacted an updated set of quarantine regulations, and reduced the curfew period by two hours. The Ministry also introduced a ticketing system and announced a partial reopening of gyms and churches. The COVID-19 numbers in the country have been on a steady decrease since epi-week 51, according to Minister Chebat. He remarked that the adjustments that have been made to previous measures are not to be considered a relaxation of the protocols, but a mere modification of the measures which are in place.
Recent data from the Ministry of Health that was released on February 1 shows that there have been a total of 11,945 confirmed cases in the country since the start of the pandemic. Of that number, 290 cases remain active within Belize. About 11,353 recoveries have been reported, and unfortunately, 302 persons have passed away.
Between January 31 and February 1, officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness processed about 902 tests. Among the samples tested, 33 new cases were identified. One new death was recorded — of a man from the Cayo District. The Ministry also recorded 44 new recoveries on that day. On February 1, 10 persons were hospitalized due to severe symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Of that number, 3 were in need of intensive care.
On January 30, 31 new cases were found from a batch of 387 tests done, and 15 persons were classified as recovered. No new death was recorded on that day. On the previous day, January 29, however, 3 COVID-19-related fatalities were recorded — all women. One of the women was from the Stann Creek District, another from Corozal, and the third from Toledo.
To date, a total of 199 men and 103 women have passed away as a result of COVID-19 in Belize. The case fatality rate stands at 2.53%, but fortunately, 95% of all cases in Belize are recorded as recovered.
Over the past 24 hours, 3,884 deaths were recorded across the Americas, and 181,763 new cases were recorded. As the pandemic rages on, the hopes are that developing countries will soon commence an inoculation program. In Belize, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is in constant talks with PAHO and the COVAX facility to meet the timeline set for the vaccination rollout in Belize, before the first quarter of 2021.
There is a chance that the AstraZeneca vaccine may be the chosen jab to reach our shores. In a release issued by the Pan American Health Organization on February 1, they indicated that “thirty-six countries and territories participating in COVAX received letters about the estimated number of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that they could be receiving from the second half of February through the second quarter of 2021.”
A previous release from PAHO issued on January 31 named Belize as one of the 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to benefit from the rollout of 25.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in this region.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is reported to have an efficacy rate of 90%.
For now, the Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to call on all Belizeans to adhere to the protocols in place. Belizeans must also become versed in the new protocols to avoid any run-ins with the law.