As the Ministry of Health and Wellness indicates that it is increasing surveillance following the announcement of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron discovered in South Africa, it has also informed the public of the launch of its Health Pass Vaccination App, accessible to all by downloading the app from the Apple or Android store. The app provides users with an electronic copy of their vaccination card.
The information provided will be dependent on the accuracy and timely input of the user’s vaccination records in the system along with their Social Security number or Belize health information number.
The team at the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW) is in collaboration with the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group and the COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group. They are carefully monitoring the situation with the new COVID-19 variant. The MOHW has alerted its health teams in the districts and advised for increased surveillance of possible cases of concern. Additionally, the ministry is in communication with Baylor College of Medicine and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that the Central Medical Laboratory is equipped with the necessary agents to identify the variant.
The new variant has numerous mutations, which may make it more transmissible especially amongst the unvaccinated population, and WHO has indicated that this variant poses a very high risk for global spread.
That is why the MOHW reminds the public to get vaccinated as a matter of urgency if they have not already done so. For those eligible, the booster dose is available. The ministry reiterates the importance of adhering to public health measures, which include proper wearing of a fitted face mask covering both the nose and mouth, maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowds where possible, and regularly washing and sanitizing hands.
The Government of Belize is currently not considering any flight bans. At this time there are no direct flights into Belize from any southern African countries, and many larger countries have already implemented public health measures that include flight bans on approximately seven southern African nations.
The ministry encourages the public to use the app as an option to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. It is anticipated that the app will provide a quick, reliable, reader-friendly record. Additional information and troubleshooting concerns have been assigned to a specific unit within the ministry to ensure prompt action. Please contact the ministry for assistance to locate records at (WhatsApp/text) 669-8843 or 613-1096. While the app is recognized locally, the ministry continues to work with other countries for international recognition.