Belize PM says no plans for national shutdown

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Belize PM says no plans for national shutdown

Thursday, March 26, 2020

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BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) — Prime Minister Dean Barrow says there are no plans for declaring a state of emergency (SOE) or a total shutdown of the country as Belize recorded its second case of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The second case is the mother of the 38-year-old resident of the San Pedrito area of San Pedro, who was the country's first recorded COVID-19 case.

“There were other family members that were screened and sampled and tested. They all were negative. And there were five additional people in San Pedro tested, not related to the first case at all, but who it appeared might have been exhibiting symptoms that warranted their being tested, [they were] all negative. So the second case is what was to have been feared in circumstances such as has occurred,” he said.

Barrow said his administration is not contemplating a national shut down of the country, adding “we are not announcing the declaration of a state of emergency”.

“So I want to make clear to the people of this country that it may yet come to that. If it comes to that we will give some notice.

“I need to make clear right at the start that if we got to that point it would not mean that every last little thing would be locked down, there would be no need for people to rush the supermarkets, there would be no need for any run at the banks. Financial institutions, supermarkets, grocery stores, all those things would remain open,” Barrow said.

But he said that should his administration agree on a SOE, citizens must not panic.

He said in the event the SOE is announced, the national taskforce, the second arm of government's response to the COVID-19 crisis, is already putting together a plan of action that will be implemented to ensure that Belizeans remain safe indoors.

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