Belmopan. April 24, 2020. 6:01 p.m. - The Economic Oversight Team informs the public that the online portal for the Unemployment Relief Program has been closed to new applications. The portal opened to receive applications on April 3, 2020 and up to the time of closure at 4:00 p.m. today, April 24th, a total of 81,007 applications were received.
Press Release - BEL Continues to Manage the Effects of Environmental Conditions on Power System - Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) teams continue to manage the effects of extended drought and seasonal dry weather conditions on our electric infrastructure, which have resulted in an increase of dust, smoke and soot contamination on power line equipment. Over the past few days, there has been an increase in pole fires due to excessive contaminants on insulators that cause them to fail, and bush fires that damage poles.
At the beginning of April, the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest committee officially announced the cancelation of their lobster festival for 2020; this is in light of the current situation our country is facing with COVID-19.
- Press Release - The United States Government has committed $300,000 U.S. dollars to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Belize. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing these funds to UNICEF-Belize. The United States, via USAID, is providing this life-saving support through coordination with the Government of Belize, international humanitarian partners, and other stakeholders to support these priority areas for investment:
From The San Pedro Town Council - In a brief handing over, a member of the Lebanese business community on Ambergris Caye donated a Jiyo brand, 125 cubic centimeter engine motorcycle to the San Pedro Police Formation. The donation was secured through Malak Harmouch, proprietor of Local Hardware Store in San Pedro Town. At hand to receive the donation was the Officer In Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit of the Belize Police Department, Superintended of Police Christopher Noble.
As of noon today, April 20, 2020, a total of 72,213 applications have been submitted since the Unemployment Relief Program was opened to accept applications on April 3, 2020. This includes some of the applications submitted via hard copy, which have begun to be entered into the online portal.
Belmopan. April 14, 2020. 5:30 p.m. - As of 2:00 p.m. today, April 14th, 62,706 applications have been received via the COVID-19 eServices Portal, in addition to a lesser amount received in hard copy, for the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program. The program was designed to offer financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. It also provides relief to persons who were unemployed prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now experiencing even more difficult circumstances.
Belmopan. April 13, 2020. 1:00 p.m. - The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize now stands at 18, with four new confirmed cases identified over the last 24 hours. The confirmed cases are distributed as follows: • A female in San Ignacio Town, as a close contact of a confirmed case from that town. • Three cases in Belize City, which are all close contacts of a previously confirmed case in that city.
Belmopan. April 12, 2020. 9:47 a.m. - A further 26 samples were tested for COVID-19 at the Central Medical Laboratory and one of those samples has yielded a positive result. This is the 14th confirmed case. The sample is that of a female resident in the Cayo District and close contact of a previously identified case who started developing minor symptoms, which included runny nose, nasal congestion and a loss of sense of taste. The patient remains with minor symptoms and is in self-isolation at home. The Ministry of Health’s enhanced surveillance continues.
Belmopan. April 11, 2020. 9:50 a.m. - The Ministry of Health continues its enhanced surveillance activities and mapping exercises as it aims to contain further cases of COVID-19. The initial mapping exercise in Belize City and the processing of further samples from the case in Corozal have identified three more cases of COVID-19. Two of the new cases are in Corozal and one is in Belize City; all these cases are close contacts of already identified cases.
The Alaia Foundation most recently made a generous donation to help medical staff in their fight to manage and contain COVID-19 on San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Today, Founders of the Non-Profit Organization, Jasmine Hartin and Andrew Ashcroft announced the procurement of 750 face masks. “We wanted to do the right thing, help our essential workers out and do what we can to flatten the curve,” Hartin said.
Belmopan. April 10, 2020. 11:45 a.m. - The Government of Belize and the Ministry of Health regret to inform of the death of the patient confirmed earlier as the 10th case of COVID-19. The patient had been receiving treatment as of March 27th at a private medical facility in Belize City. While there, the patient was swabbed twice and the samples sent to the Central Medical Laboratory for testing for COVID-19; both tests proved inconclusive.
Belmopan. April 10, 2020. 6:25 a.m. - As reports come out from the Ministry of Health confirming a 10th positive case for COVID-19 in Belize last night, an update this morning from the KHMH indicates that patient #10 has died. The confirmation test came out positive late last night (April 9th). This was from a set of 30 samples tested, some of which were from frontline workers as part of routine surveillance.
Belmopan. April 9, 2020. 10:45 a.m. - The Ministry of Health ran a further 30 samples for COVID-19 on April 8 and has confirmed a ninth case. The patient is a female minor who is an immediate contact of a previously identified patient. The 30 samples screened yesterday included additional samples collected from the mapping exercises for patients #6 and #7 as well as samples from other health facilities across the country. This brings the total screened samples to 364.
Corozal resident and Belize’s COVID-19 patient #8, Mr. Ramsley Gillett, has issued a public statement through his sister’s Facebook profile. He shares his situation with the nation and urges Belizeans to support his family and follow the advice of the authorities, stay at home and practice social distancing. Below is his statement delivered by his sister Krishna Gillett:
On Tuesday, April 7, Hope Haven Children’s Home and Community Center, located on Ambergris Caye, received a donation of $100,000 from the Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund. The donation was provided to assist families in need of assistance during the pandemic crisis, and to assist with supplementing grocery donations to these families. Bringing the total amount of cash donations for relief in Belize to over $10,000,000BZD, Lord Ashcroft has proven that his loyalty to Belize and its people sit at a prioritized level of concern during this time of crisis.
Belmopan. April 8, 2020. 7:10 a.m. - A further 31 samples, which included primary contacts of patients #6 and #7, were tested on April 7th, for COVID-19. Out of those, the Ministry has confirmed another positive case. The patient is a 50-year-old male who is currently in the isolation area of the Corozal Community Hospital. The patient was referred from the private sector and has been hospitalized since yesterday. A mapping exercise has started for this patient and further details will be provided later on in the day.
The National Meteorological Service (NMS) of Belize hereby informs the general public that the seasonal rainfall forecast for April to September 2020 is showing a probability of drier than usual conditions across much of the country.
Belmopan - April 6, 2020 - 10:30 a.m. - The Ministry of Health has continued to scale up testing for COVID-19 and a further 26 samples were tested on Sunday, April 5th. That scaled up testing has identified two further cases, both males residing in San Ignacio.
Today, at 03:19 a.m., the expanded testing protocol of the Ministry of Health identified a fifth case of COVID-19. The patient is a Belizean student who returned from Florida. The patient arrived in Belize on Friday, April 3rd, and is in self-isolation at a quarantine facility. He is without symptoms and stable. In reference to patient #4, the mapping exercise of the Ministry of Health has allowed for the identification of close contacts of that patient in both San Ignacio and Belize City where swabs were taken on April 3rd and 4th.