In our newscast last night we told you about the several call’s we received yesterday from Mexican food vendors complaining that they were no longer allowed to enter the Corozal Commercial Free Zone as a result of several precautionary measures taken by the management of the free zone to avoid the spread of cholera which is currently affecting the Mexican State of Hidalgo, Mexico.
What has some of the food vendors up in arms is that according to them, fair play is not being practiced since they know of some individuals who are buying their way into the free zone and allowed to sell food. As we mention last night we tried to get in contact with the Chairman of the free zone, David Ackerman to clarify the situation but all our efforts proved futile.
Today we got in contact with Ackerman who refuted the allegations made the free zone.
“Let me explain this to you, you might be aware that there is a current outbreak of cholera in Mexico right now, we left with the ministry of health and it has been a policy for vendors who are not registered companies in the Free Zone that will not be allowed to sell within the confines of the Free Zone, this is nothing new, now public health has embarked, this is within the sense confines Mexican people from time to time would come on the Belizean side and sell. The public health department is discouraging the Mexicans from coming and bringing their food on the Belizean soil to sell this is out of the fence, so that is the situation. As to allegation that were made by someone stating that we are collecting that is totally untrue and we will be continuing monitoring the Mexicans who from time to time would want to use methods of entering the Free Zone, I have given instructions to my security personnel which we will meet with the police tomorrow that any person who is sneaking through the gates because they try to use different methods to beat the gate we will get them and send them out of the Free Zone but they will be detained for a couple hours before we release them because we need to discourage them from coming to the Free Zone.”
Given the close proximity and the extensive borderline of Belize with Mexico, Belizean health authorities have immediately taken action to prevent the spread of the virus into Belizean territory."
Most of those preventative measures are being carried out at the free zone since it’s close to the Mexican Border.
“We are in an educational campaign, we are visiting each and every single establishment to ensure that their sewer facilities are up to standards and we find that they are not to standard we are issuing recommendation to be address within maximum fifteen days and if they do not adhere then the public health act will enact upon them. I am telling you that businesses are operating we are finding little leaks here and there but it is address by them. Cholera is a very serious virus that it could contaminate within three hours, a person could be very ill so we need to protect our borders, we need to ensure that there is no incident of cholera in this area which we are responsible of.”
According to Ackierman, measures to contain the disease are being carried out within the free zone and its surroundings.
“As outside of the perimeter of the fence public health will do their job out there we will be responsible within the fence confine and public health will be in charge out of the perimeter confine.”
Records presently show that in the state of Mexico there are forty four confirmed cases of Cholera and an additional thirty three cases waiting for confirmation.
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