BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 23, 2020– Since the announcement of the emergence of COVID-19 cases in the Orange Walk and Cayo Districts, a reported total of 446 tests were conducted between July 14 and July 22. On the 14th, the results of 88 tests came back negative. Among those tested within that batch of 88 tests were the initial contacts of the family of seven from the San Felipe Village in Orange Walk.
On July 17, the results of another 119 tests came back, and the results indicated one additional active case — a person who returned to Belize on a recent repatriation flight and was sent home to quarantine due to an underlying heart condition.
The remainder of the tests had been done on persons who were traced in the mapping exercise in Blue Creek, Orange Walk.
On July 18, a further 106 results came back negative, which concluded the mapping processes being conducted in Orange Walk. Among those tested were the initial contacts for patient #39, who resides in the Cayo District.
Contrary to initial concerns, the Director of Health Services was able to ascertain that case #39 was not a result of communal spread, but resulted from exposure to persons from a Mexican community near the northern border. It has been reported by some sources that the patient purchased scrap metal from members of that community.
On July 21, 66 sample results were obtained, resulting in the identification of a further two active cases, one of whom was a person who came through the Western Border, and the second of whom returned on a repatriation flight that landed in Belize on the previous Friday. Most samples taken were from the persons on that repatriation flight.
In the most recent Ministry of Health update provided on July 22, it was announced that an additional 67 samples had been processed, and within that batch was another active case. That infected person had returned through the Northern Border Station as part of the repatriation process.
This patient has been quarantined in Orange Walk, which currently still has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases.
Currently, Belize has had a total of 43 confirmed cases, with 18 of them being active, and the villages of San Felipe and Blue Creek remain under a State of Emergency (SOE).
It is notable that those in San Felipe are imploring the government to lift the SOE, as the village has run low on food supplies.
Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, and Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, were unable to say whether or not Cabinet will lift the decision, but have confirmed that there have been no new cases emerging from that area.