BELIZE CITY, Tues. May 11, 2021– Belize City is currently being monitored for multiple clusters of Covid-19 cases, after twenty cases of the virus emerged in the city in the last two weeks. According to the Surveillance Officer of the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), Lorna Perez, there are two clusters of the virus in the Belize District which she believes could possibly be the direct result of increased interaction and travel during the recent Easter holiday.
Ms. Perez mentioned that there were several modes of transmission of the virus which led to the current clusters. She said that some individuals were infected by other members of their household, then further transmitted the virus when they went to work or attended social gatherings. She noted, however, that despite the clusters, there have not been any recent admissions of patients requiring intensive care into the KHMH’s COVID-19 Unit, although there is one infected person at the hospital at this time.
When asked about the pattern of the virus’ movement through Belize as well as the strain of virus we are now encountering in comparison to what was being seen at the end of last year, she remarked, “When you look at the transmissibility of the virus, nothing has changed really. We’re still having the same community settings, and so if we had that kind of virulent type of viral transmission, we definitely would have been seeing many more numbers. But again, as I said, remember when you’re going through that phase of silent spread, the active surveillance trying to find those cases before it goes off like wildfire like what we had in the northern part of the country last year, I think that we can conclude with what we are seeing that we don’t have that type of violent strain that already would have spread like wildfire, especially in the Belize District.”
According to Perez, the active surveillance of Belize District residents’ household dynamics as well as the surveillance of business establishments and public transportation use has contributed greatly to the Ministry’s timely responses in detecting and controlling the spread of the virus. Without these, Ms. Perez feels that the number of cases would surely have been higher.