In response to authorities statistics, the nation of Belize has reported no new instances or COVID-19, for greater than a month.
Contemplating this small growing nation on mainland Central America relies upon closely on worldwide tourism and cross border commerce, such a feat is an unimaginable one.
With a inhabitants of about 400,000, the nation’s public well being system might hardly hope to deal with an enormous outbreak of Covid-19 if the illness had been to unfold to uncontrollable ranges.
Regardless of the massive numbers in neighbouring international locations in its largest tourism market, together with the U.S., Belize has had a complete of 18 and no new case since April 13th.
The federal government says, this has not been accidentally and it’s as a result of early steps it took to handle the illness by shortly closing borders, bolstering its medical capability, implementing a State of Emergency and by carefully managing the inhabitants’s actions with an ever-evolving set of legal guidelines that had been modified at a second’s discover to swimsuit the state of affairs because it unfolded.
However, one of many least identified elements that assisted tremendously in attaining this optimistic consequence, is using know-how to handle the disaster, and using real-time information for decision-making by well being and different senior authorities.
From the time of report of the primary imported case by a Belizean who returned from journey to the U.S., the epidemiological unit of the Ministry of Well being fast-tracked a contact-tracing mode, they used to successfully isolate that first case and quarantined your complete island of Ambergris Caye the place she and her mom, the second case, lived whereas rigorously tracing her steps and her contacts since her arrival into Belize.
This train was meticulously repeated with the next 17 instances, with a coordinated effort to find, segregate and hint contacts associated to every case.
Behind all this was a secret weapon developed regionally, which drove choices on a day-to-day foundation.
Belize was as a consequence of start a nationwide census this month (Might), however an early determination to postpone it till 2021 the federal government’s Statistical Institute of Belize had obtainable assets.
An early determination by the federal government in late February to dedicate these assets towards combatting Covid19 proved to be a stroke of genius.
A small group of software program builders, statisticians and well being professionals obtained collectively and designed their very own in-house monitoring, tracing and reporting platform for Covid19, presumably one of many earliest such built-in efforts within the Americas.
This platform began with an software that allowed the sphere officers tasked with conducting the census into Covid-19 “subject detectives” armed with tablets loaded with the institute’s state-of-the-art information gathering and reporting app Open Well being.
These first responders and their well being counterparts had been in a position to interview “individuals of Curiosity” based mostly on their threat elements, and in real-time add the info which allowed for a mapping of instances, contact and threat areas.
On the similar time, the Ministry of Well being’s hotline was armed with their model of the app and had been in a position to convert information gathered from calls pertaining to signs and places of individuals of curiosity or different dangers into the identical widespread database.
As a 3rd step, the staff developed and launched a self-reporting app that permits residents to report their very own well being situation, giving the federal government a broader view of public well being, and the flexibility to establish dangers that might not be captured by the sphere agent or the hotline.
All information from the self-reporting app goes instantly into the widespread database and offers authorities a common view of the well being of the inhabitants, together with these residents that report no signs.
Within the back-end, a number of initiatives had been developed, together with cross mapping amongst respondents from all sources towards tracing information from identified instances, a map of all respondents in actual time, and a sophisticated statistical prediction device that helps to match the Covid-19 threat stage towards the hospital capability in every district in actual time.
With Belize closing at solely 18 instances of the Covid-19, and with no new instances for 28 days as of Might 11, the nation has been in a position to start a gradual return to normalcy, with most companies and authorities places of work already re-opened — with legislated and enforced bodily distancing — and necessary use of face masks.
Work is already being finished by the staff to create modules that can permit for necessary pre- and ongoing screening of returning nationals and guests as soon as the airport and borders open, and screening of the overall inhabitants by elevated groups of contact tracers as soon as faculties and bigger gatherings resume.
Win a visit to Belize
In the meantime the Belize Tourism Board is encouraging Canadians to plan journey post-Covid-19 as they at the moment keep residence by means of “Pricey Belize,” a digital postcard marketing campaign.
Previous guests and people dreaming to make their first journey to Belize can submit a digital postcard that shares their love of the Central American vacation spot.
Winners might be chosen at random, however submissions might be shared on the Belize social media platforms to encourage creativity and engagement.
The winner will obtain a free seven-night journey for 2 to Belize, together with airfare, lodging and floor transportation.
Belize is a well-liked trip vacation spot for Canadians as a consequence of its pure magnificence and sunny climate — it’s residence to the world’s largest Barrier Reef within the Northern Hemisphere and affords alternatives for eco-activities, cultural choices and lodgings that vary from luxurious private-island resorts to jungle retreats.
Belize, in any other case referred to as “A Curious Place” additionally affords every part from archaeology to birding and caving to lush rainforests, waterfalls, Mayan ruins, dotted islets, unimaginable scuba-diving and naturally, loads of sea, solar and sand to assist the fortunate winner re-engage with nature post-Covid-19.
Submission examples and extra data on how you can enter may be discovered on the Dear Belize website.