BELIZE CITY, Mon. Apr. 6, 2020– Belize City mayor, Bernard Wagner and various members of the staff of the Belize City Council all tested negative for the coronavirus, said a press release that the City Council issued yesterday, Sunday.
The tests that were done on Mayor Wagner and those staff members were carried out on Friday and Saturday, and well into Sunday and Monday.
On Friday, April 3, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Manzanero, announced that a fourth person had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Dr. Manzanero, in a recorded video statement, informed the public that the fourth COVID-19 case was a 55-year-old man from the Cayo District, who had no recent travel history and no primary contact with anyone who recently traveled.
Dr. Manzanero went on to explain that the Ministry of Health would begin a mapping operation of the persons with whom the patient had contact.
Patient #4 was later identified as Belize City Council employee Hubert Pipersburgh, who was the manager of the City Council’s Local and Economic Development (LED) unit.
Pipersburgh’s condition deteriorated rapidly over the weekend and he passed away on Sunday morning while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
The Ministry of Health’s mapping exercise led to the identification of a number of persons with whom Pipersburgh had contact, and among those persons were Belize City mayor Bernard Wagner and a number of the City Council’s senior officials, including City Administrator Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt.
That list of persons who were identified through the Ministry of Health’s mapping operation also included several members of the media who attended a press conference at City Hall on Monday, March 16, and who may have come in contact with Pipersburgh.
The City Council’s press release said that a number of other City Council employees would be tested on Sunday.
The results of those additional tests have not yet been released by the Ministry of Health.
Apparently, the turnaround time for the COVID-19 test from the Ministry of Health is between 24 and 36 hours.
Feature photo: Mayor Bernard Wagner