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MoH Confirms No One on Flight Originated from China

MoH Confirms No One on Flight Originated from China
February 07
16:25 2020

MoH Confirms No One on Flight Originated from China

ON: Thursday, 06 February 2020

Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has confirmed with the Reporter that there was no one originating from China on a plane which arrived in Belize from El Salvador this week.

There was a report this week that sent panic among people on Facebook that the flight had some 25 Chinese nationals and that one of them was coughing – one of the symptoms of the deadly Coronavirus. Further to that, the report stated that our officials did not quarantine the individual nor test any of the 25 passengers who had supposedly travelled from China.

But a quick check on international flights revealed that most airline companies have suspended flights to and from China until later this month. And the passengers on the flights that do still leave are screened at the point of embarkation.

Manzanero assured that Belize has been reviewing all manifests from planes and cruise ships for the last two weeks, but even so, the cruise ships are not allowing Chinese nationals on board at this time. Cruise ships are required to forward their manifests the night before ships arrive at port. Hence, the screening process for Belize begins long before the passengers even arrive. And as a precaution, Manzanero said that health inspectors have been boarding planes before the passengers disembark.

But fears in the international community spiked when reports circulated that ten people from a cruise ship quarantined off Japan have tested positive for the virus. To date, Coronavirus has sickened more than 24,000 people in mainland China and killed 490.

In Belize, the National Surveillance Team has established its terms of reference and this along with all response teams hold regular meetings.

The signs and symptoms of Coronavirus are similar to those of the regular influenza and includes coughing, headaches, sore throat, chills, fever, cold, and sometimes nausea.

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