Belize City, Wed. September 15, 2021– When Belizeans learned that the Prime Minister would be addressing the nation on Wednesday night, amidst a rapidly increasing number of Covid-19 cases and the news that the KHMH’s morgue could hold no more bodies, there was one particular announcement that many feared he would make: a declaration of another lockdown. That is not what the Prime Minister outlined in his address. What he did list, however, was a series of very restrictive measures that will be put in place for two weeks in an attempt to put a halt to the accelerating spread of the virus in our midst.
In a pre-recorded address released on Wednesday night, the PM shared projections about where the country is headed should the current trends — a rapidly increasing number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths — continue.
“The current situation in Belize is indeed alarming… Yesterday alone, there were two hundred new confirmed cases with a positivity rate of 16.4%. As of yesterday, there were 1,416 active cases in the country. Our hospitals are at a breaking point. At the KHMH alone, there are twenty-eight Covid-positive patients admitted. Ten of these patients are in the Intensive Care Unit, and of these, seven are unvaccinated. Over the weekend there were nine deaths attributed to Covid-19. Our medical professionals tell us, that of the number of persons dying of Covid-19, close to 85% are persons who are unvaccinated. Projections from the Ministry of Health and Wellness show that if nothing is done, we can expect to see an increase in daily Covid infections of up to 250 new confirmed cases. At this rate, hospitalizations could rise by an additional 150 persons daily over the next two weeks. Of those hospitalized cases, approximately 15 people will require ICU admission and a minimum of 10 daily deaths are projected,” the Prime Minister said.
He then went on to list the new measures that will come into effect as of midnight on September 20 for a period of two weeks:
“1. A curfew is imposed countrywide starting at 7:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. except for San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins, where the curfew will remain from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.,” Hon. Briceno said.
He then went on to announce another restriction that will be in place: “ 2. Restaurants will only be able to provide takeout service except for restaurants in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins,” he said.
He then listed even more measures: “3.. Casinos and churches are to be closed. 4. Any form of contact sport is not allowed.,” he said.
Finally, he announced, “Sunday, 26th September, and Sunday, October 3rd 2021 will be declared no-movement days except for medical attention, to purchase medication, groceries or fuel.”