Doctors warn industrial action will resume if Covid-19 measures are inadequate

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Medical Association of Malta has warned that it will reactivate all its industrial directives on Tuesday should the new measures dealing with Covid-19 set to be announced by the government fall short of its expectations.

It said that it was concerned by the statements of Prime Minister Robert Abela, stating that he did not appear to comprehend the gravity of the situation. It was particularly irked by misleading comments with no basis in science “repeated ad nauseam” by the tourism industry.

The MAM said that it was blatantly untrue that Malta had the lowest number of cases; on the contrary, it had the highest number of new cases in the last two weeks in the EU as a ratio of the population.

“While there were no deaths to date, as deaths lag 3-6 weeks after turning positive, this fact does not afford much reassurance,” the association maintained. It added that the assertion that more people die of influenza is of no consolation, since everyone had access to a flu vaccine.

“Furthermore, while the prime minister was on holiday in Sicily three patients were in intensive care, 40 hospitalized, with 11 new cases in care homes. Vulnerable patients must be protected at all costs,” the MAM added.

No place for parties

The doctors’ union is adamant that given the situation, there was no justification for discos, bars or parties on land or sea, or any gathering for more than 10 standing people. These should thus be closed and/or forbidden with immediate effect.

The MAM also insisted that mask wearing and social distancing should be made compulsory, backed by strong enforcement.

Additionally, all Maltese residents returning from overseas should be asked to swab or quarantine on arrival, while tourists should be obliged to swab 72 hours before visiting.

“This should be to and from all destinations as we should err on the side of caution, and not on the side of profit,” it said.

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