Government will access $75 million in loans and grants to fight COVID-19
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 16, 2020– The coronavirus, or COVID-19 as the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the new strain of the virus that was discovered last year in China, has been killing thousands of people since it moved out of China and began spreading across the world. COVID-19 is now confirmed to be in over 120 countries, causing millions of people to be quarantined in their homes in several countries. The virus has also hit the global tourism industry hard, as travel has ground to a virtual standstill, with cruise ship calls and air travel suspended.
While several countries in our region have reported cases of COVID-19 in their midst, so far, Belize has not recorded a single positive case. Nonetheless, the government has stepped up its efforts to take precautionary measures in light of the ever-expanding worldwide crisis.
At a press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. John Briceño, held a joint press conference in their capacity as chairman and co-chair respectively of the National Oversight Committee on COVID-19.
Briceño announced a number of precautionary measures that the committee has adopted to combat COVID-19.
Briceño said the first decision was the postponement of the SIB Census until next year, “and use of some of the resources already allocated for the census to collect data associated with COVID-19.”