Emergency Doctor appeals to remain vigilant

Tabib Michael Spiteri emerġenza kju vapur

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

“I am just hoping against hope that common sense prevails. Judging from the queues for the Gozo ferry, I am not being very optimistic but I remain hopeful. Large gatherings from outside your household remain extremely risky but I believe that the vast majority of Maltese got the message and will exercise ample caution and follow Public Health guidelines…if this is not the case then we shall meet at the Emergency department around the 15th of January” said emergency doctor Michael Spiteri.

I am just hoping against hope that common sense prevails. Judging from the queues for the Gozo ferry, I am not being…

Posted by Michael Spiteri on Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dr Spiteri was reacting to reports of long queues waiting for the ferry to cross to Gozo for the New Year celebrations.

Crowds flocking to Gozo ahead of New Years’ Eve
Crowds flocking to Gozo ahead of New Years’ Eve

The parties that generally characterise New Years’ Eve may be prohibited due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year. However, long queues of cars waiting to board to Gozo yesterday suggest that a sizeable number of people may be making full use of the absence of such prohibition on private home gatherings.

Pictures of the queues published on social media drew outraged responses from people fearing that the crowds flocking to Gozo would see the number of Covid-19 cases increase.

The Gozo Tourism Association, earlier this month, had already announced that they expected a heavy influx of visitors from Malta. The association had confirmed that most of the accommodation was booked.

Influx of Maltese visiting Gozo – GTA
Influx of Maltese visiting Gozo – GTA

Yesterday the first cases, of the new Covid-19 variant, were identified in Malta. Prof. Gauci said that this strain has a higher transmission rate. This means if we are not vigilant, the virus can spread 70% faster. This may cause pressure for our medical services.

3 cases of new Covid-19 variant found in Malta
3 cases of new Covid-19 variant found in Malta