MOHW reports almost 500 new cases, 11 COVID-related deaths

The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW)’s COVID-19 update for Monday, October 11th, informed that 491 new cases have been identified, and that 11 persons have died from COVID-related complications within the last three days.

The number of new infections, which covers the period for October 9-11, is the highest reported under the present wave of COVID infections, with the closest second being the 419 new infections reported for October 2-4, 2021. Even when compared to other three-day bulk reports, this figure stands out. Readers may recall that even for the period July 31 to August 3, the country had recorded 121 new infections for a positivity rate of six percent (121 out of 2,034 tests).

The 491 new confirmed cases also represents a positivity rate of 14.9 percent. Belize’s average positivity rate from September 18th to October 11th is placed at 13.3 percent, a figure that, among other variables, reaffirms that Belize is likely experiencing what the World Health Organization (WHO) labels as a Level-Three Community Transmission (CT-3). However, it is necessary to state that the MOHW also explained, “There was entry of backlog data from July resulting in the notable numbers.”

Another related statistic worth keeping a close eye on is the country’s case incidences, which is measured as the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population per week. From September 18th to October 11th and using the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB)’s mid-year population estimate of 430,191, Belize’s case incidence averages about 68.9 cases per 100,000 persons. The case incidence has increased by about 32 percent over this period, climbing from 86.2 per 100,000 in mid September to the latest numbers’ 114 per 100,000 persons.

Like the positivity rate, the case incidence threshold is also used as an indicator to determine the level of community transmission. The WHO had set the benchmark for CT-3 at 50 to 150 cases per 100,000.

The October 11th report also informs that there were 11 “new deaths” associated with COVID-19. Since August 2021, the second highest reported number of deaths was found for the reporting period September 10-13, when the MOHW indicated that there were nine deaths.

It is also worth highlighting that the October 11th report also informed that there were 47 hospitalizations, with only 25 of those being unvaccinated. The remaining 47 percent (22 hospitalizations) were either fully vaccinated (14 or 30%) or persons with one dose (7 or 15%). There was one individual whose vaccination status was unknown.

While the number of vaccinated persons among the hospitalized is worth underscoring for further investigation, it remains conspicuous that the vaccinated are the minority among the reported deaths, with only two of the eleven deaths being fully vaccinated persons.

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