Listen: MAM does not exclude industrial actions after govt announces Christmas events

Updated 01:37 PM

MAM does not exclude industrial actions

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Medical Association of Malta, MAM, has condemned the attitude of Prime Minister Robert Abela and of Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, saying they are deliberately ignoring scientific advice and play the populism card in the thick of a pandemic when ‘Christmas in the City’ was launched. COVID-19 will not kill Christmas but will kill more vulnerable Maltese people, said the Association.

In his comments this morning on 103 Malta’ Heart, the President of the Medical Association of Malta, Dr Martin Balzan said that under such circumstances one would have expected more restrictions and not encouraging people to go out. “We need to respect the elderly,” said Balzan.

Asked how MAM would react if the situation does not change and if authorities continue to give the message that everything is under control, Martin Balzan said that the association would not exclude industrial actions however, he said the association hopes that common sense would prevail.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, MAM said that it appears that for Minister Farruiga Portelli the July parties were the test tube, and Christmas is going to be the real thing in fomenting an unprecedented pandemic. The Association has described as “fake” the enforcement that has been taken away from the police and put under the responsibility of Minister Farrugia Portelli.

The Medical Association of Malta noted the increasing tally of serious illness and deaths from COVID-19.  There were 3 more deaths bringing the total number to 81, on Monday. Furthermore, there are 80 very seriously ill patients at Mater Dei with coronavirus, excluding the 3 smaller hospitals, 12 of which are in intensive care, stated MAM.

According to the Medical Association of Malta, based on the recorded 1.5% fatality at least another 35 deaths as expected to occur by the end of the month. Despite these deaths, the worst is still to come and if the daily average remains above a hundred the healthcare system may soon collapse.

It was further explained how this means that 3 medical wards are now caring only for COVID-19 patients putting great strain on all other wards which have to continue to care for all other illnesses.

“Opinion polls show a majority of Maltese are against a lockdown. Naturally most are fed up and want a normal life however this is exactly what the virus needs and that is exactly why the numbers are remaining in the hundreds. While doctors and other healthcare workers have to risk their own health on a daily basis, the Prime Minister has ruled out any form of lockdown,” said MAM while describing the authorities’ attitude as highly irresponsible which puts the lives of many patients and healthcare staff unnecessarily at risk.