Belize is prepared: No cases of COVID-19 confirmed
At a press conference held on Thursday regarding COVID-19 Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow said Belize is prepared. He said the government is guided by health professionals while taking tips from what has happened in countries across the region and internationally.
“Cabinet confirmed the establishment of a COVID19 task force and a COVID19 national oversight committee.”
The national oversight committee will be chaired by the Prime Minister and leader of the opposing Labour Party Jeremy Corbin. The committee will be made up of representatives from the council of churches, the chamber of commerce and industry, the national network of non-governmental organisations and the social security board.
The intention behind the committees is to educate the public as best as possible on how to prevent the spread of the virus – which has yet to be confirmed to have reached Belize.
In a meeting scheduled for May 16 – representatives from the Central Bank of Belize and the Ministry of Economic Development will make presentations and will help the committee to map out how to be prepared for, and cope with the impact the virus may have on the economy.
This includes emergency aid for workers, budget allocation, duty free shipping of necessary supplies, a moratorium on loan repayments and a post corona fiscal stimulus programme which will include salary advances to public officers.
The task force will be chaired by Marvin Manzanero, the director of health services, Belize and will work in collaboration with social work bodies.
The Government of Belize has also reached out to health teams throughout the region for collaboration in managing COVID19.
“We will do everything to keep Belize safe.”
The Prime Minister said the government has not decided on whether to close schools or close borders for entry – but with time the government will take the necessary steps as even though the economy depends on tourism and foreign exchange he said, “Nothing is more important to the Government of Belize than protecting the health of the nation first.”