Like most countries around the world, Belize has reported the presence of COVID-19. Unlike most countries, Belize has the lowest confirmed cases – three.
Two of these cases were imported from the United States of America in February.
The infection rate is so low that hundreds of people from countries where the pandemic has wrought havoc, have been trying to flee to Belize as a place of refuge. But the authorities have shut down air, land and sea borders.
Belize’s subtropical climate and very sparse population is believed by local medical authorities to be a natural repellent to COVID-19. Belize is the most sparsely populated nation in the Western Hemisphere. Its land mass is larger than El Salvador. But it has a very small population of only 390,000. More than half of the people live in rural areas. About one-fourth live in Belize City, the principal port, commercial centre, and former capital. About 80% of the population are Christian. The country has in recent years earned a reputation among the expat community as a haven for survivalists and preppers.
The country’s quick quarantine and lock down, reaction emulating that of China and Taiwan is believed to have made it difficult for the virus to gain any traction in this tropical paradise.
The authorities were quick to place Ambergris Caye, home of Patient Zero (a woman who had arrived in Belize from California), under quarantine on 25 March 2020. All entry and exits points were sealed.
Thereafter, a second case was detected on Ambergris Caye, this was the mother of Patient Zero.
On 30 March 2020, a third case of COVID-19 was detected in Belize. This in Belize City, the largest mainland population center. This case courtesy of a man that imported the virus via the Big Apple – New York City.
Government’s COVID-19 Oversight Committee thereafter declared a national state of emergency on 3 April 2020 and put in place a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am. A Belize COVID-19 website has been established to provide daily updates and guidance for residents and visitors.
This article will be frequently updated to include new cases and developments.