BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 12, 2020– The number of cases of COVID-19 within the country continues to soar.
Late this evening, an infographic revealed that the number of cases has risen to 4,596, and the deaths remain at 75.
Of a total of 258 samples processed today, 76 of them positive for SARS-CoV2, giving a positivity rate of 29.5%.
The geographic distribution is as follows: Corozal – 19 (9 Town, 3 San Narciso, 1 San Andres, 1 Ranchito, 1 Concepcion, 1 Santa Clara, 1 Carolina, 1 Libertad, 1 Cristo Rey).
Orange Walk – 9 (4 Town, 2 Trial Farm, 2 San Luis, 1 San Lazaro).
Belize – 18 (16 City, 1 Sunset Park, 1 from Caledonia CZ).
Stann Creek – 28 (2 Independence, 10 San Juan, 2 Seine Bight, 2 South Stann Creek, 1 Placencia, 1 Sagitun, 1 Maya Mopan, 5 from Bella Vista TOL, 2 from Belmopan CY, 2 from Benque Viejo CY).
Toledo – 2 Punta Gorda.
We have 28 recoveries to report so that 43.7% of our cases remain active.
On Tuesday, November 10, within a single day of testing, 185 new cases were confirmed.
On that day, over 524 samples were processed, a new record for Belize. The Director of Health Services (DHS) has also announced that a second brand of COVID-19 rapid tests have entered the country. These will complement the SD biosensor test after an internal validation is completed. The use of these additional tests will aid the COVID-19 response through the identification of more positive cases and the isolation of those persons from the general public.
As of Wednesday, November 11, a total of 4,520 cases had been confirmed in Belize. Of that number, 1,960 remain active, and there have been 2485 recoveries. Additionally, since our last update, 5 persons have died. This takes the death toll to 75 persons, a fatality rate of 1.66%.
The most recent deaths were recorded on November 11. On that day, two male persons died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) COVID-19 Unit. The first is a man in his early 40’s, a resident of Corozal. The other is a man in his late 70’s from the Belize District. Two persons died on November 10 as well. Again, both were male patients. One of these two, a man in his 80’s from Corozal, died while admitted to the Corozal Community Hospital. The second man died while admitted to the KHMH COVID-19 unit.
A death also took place on November 9. The patient who died on that day is a woman in her 60’s who passed away while being treated in the COVID-19 Unit at the KHMH. She was a resident of Orange Walk.
Hospitalizations have also become an area of concern for the Ministry of Health. We have seen an increased number of cases being treated at the national referral hospital, KHMH, and particularly in the COVID-19 unit. On November 11, the DHS said that hospitalizations at the KHMH and Western Regional Hospital have reached a level of concern for the Ministry. A message published by the Officer of the DHS stated, “both institutions are reaching critical levels that we are monitoring closely.”
On that day (November 11), 12 patients were admitted to the KHMH COVID-19 Unit, with 6 (5 males and 1 female) being critically ill. Also, 3 highly suspect cases were at the KHMH at the time. One of those persons was intubated and considered critically ill. Eleven patients were admitted to the Western Regional Hospital at that time.
The Ministry of Health is paying keen attention to the increased numbers of hospitalization. The concern is that our healthcare system may become overwhelmed by the increasing cases in need of treatment. This could result in a total collapse in the healthcare system, given the limited human and medical resources available on the frontline.
On November 11, 411 samples were processed, and 106 new cases were identified, which amounts to a 25.8% positivity rate. The most cases were found in the northern districts: in Corozal, 35 new cases were found and in Orange Walk, 30 new cases were found.
The Belize District recorded 12 new cases and in Cayo, 3 cases were found. Nineteen new cases were found in Toledo. Also 45 recoveries were recorded.
As mentioned, on November 10, a record number of samples were processed. From a batch of 524 tests, 185 new cases were identified. Cayo had the most cases on that day: 46. Stann Creek had 43 new cases, and 38 new cases were found in Corozal.
In the Belize District, 33 cases were identified and 21 were found in Orange Walk. In Toledo, 4 new cases were found. A total of 54 recoveries were identified on that day.
On November 9, 54 new cases were found from a batch of 176 samples. Twenty-eight of these cases were found in the Belize District. In Orange Walk, 14 new cases were found and Cayo recorded 6. Also on that day, 3 cases were found in Stann Creek, 2 in Toledo, and 1 in Corozal.
Two companies on a fast-track to creating a COVID-19 vaccine made a promising announcement on Monday, November 9. Pfizer, a New York-based company, and the Germany company BioNTech, announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective.
An article published in The New York Times says that, on Nov. 8, “an analysis of the first 94 cases of COVID-19 in the trial yielded promising preliminary results.” It goes on to say, “If their vaccine is authorized, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to manufacture over 1.3 billion doses of their vaccine worldwide by the end of 2021.”
In Belize, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has said that the country has already paid a portion of its commitment to the COVAX facilities in order to secure about 120,000 vaccines. This will cover the vaccination of approximately 30% of our population here at home.