Belize Places Temporary Ban on Visit to India and Bangladesh

Jamaica ban
A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on June 26 in Seattle. | AP Photo, Ted S. Warren

The Belize government has placed a temporary ban on travel to and from India and Bangladesh as a result of the increasing cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in those two Asian countries.

A government statement said that Cabinet had agreed to “institute a temporary travel ban on persons who have travelled to or originated from or have transited the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh,” adding “this temporary ban is due to the rising numbers of persons in these countries infected with the COVID-19 virus.”

The brief government statement gave no details as to how long the temporary ban would be in place for, nor did it indicate when the measure goes into effect.

Latest data shows that at least 4,205 people died from COVID-19 in India over a 24-hour period, the largest single-day increase in fatalities reported in the country since the pandemic began.

India has reported more than 300,000 daily COVID-19, cases for 21 consecutive days, while Bangladesh has recorded 779,535 cases and  12, 102 deaths from the virus.

Belize, which has recorded 12,709 cases of the virus and 323 deaths since the first case was detected in March last year, said on Thursday that it had received 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX Facility, a partnership between the Belize government, the coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Vaccine Alliance Gavi, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF.

“This arrival to Belize is the second in a series of shipments of vaccines to enter the country through the COVAX Facility in its effort to deliver at least two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. The shipment signals another milestone in a historic effort to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history,” the statement said.

Health and Wellness Minister, Michel Chebat, said as of May 10, an estimated 48,515 persons have been vaccinated.

“By getting vaccinated we are all contributing to contain the negative outcomes associated to COVID-19.  This shipment has arrived two days before administering the last doses of the current stock,” he added.

The authorities here are reminding the public that even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, they are to continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines and wear masks properly in public, maintain physical distancing, and wash and sanitize hands often.

CMC

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