Watch: ‘We cannot keep up’ – Public Health Consultant

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

With reported cases of COVID-19 rising at a very fast rate, Newsbook.com.mt will be joining Dr Tanya Melillo, Consultant on Public Health every week to give updates on the current situation and advise on the best ways to fight the Pandemic. 

18:30 And with that appeal, our live blog draws to a close. Thank you for following us.
John Paul Cordina
18:28 As the interview draws to a close, Melillo appeals to anyone with symptoms that could be linked to Covid-19 to call 111 to get tested immediately, and to stay home until the test can take place.

But she emphasises that once the test is done, they must also stay home until the results come out. There have been cases where people got tested and went to work, only to end up infecting their colleagues before finding out they had tested positive for Covid-19.
John Paul Cordina
18:26 But for this to be possible, people needed to make sacrifices, by limiting their encounters with others, keeping their distance, wearing face masks at all times and using hand sanitisers regularly.
John Paul Cordina
18:25 Commenting on the balance between safeguarding health and preventing job losses, she emphasises that ultimately, the health authorities also want to avoid the latter.
John Paul Cordina
18:24 Melillo states that it is too early to tell whether the latest measures announced would work, stating that it would take at least two weeks to measure their impact.

Nevertheless, she does not exclude the need for further measures.
John Paul Cordina
18:23 Specifically commenting on swimming, Melillo states that it poses no direct danger. But close contact with others does, so the context in which one swims is important.
John Paul Cordina
18:21 On whether a wave of influenza would coincide with a wave of Covid-19, Melillo states that it is too early to tell.

However, she notes that in the southern hemisphere – where it is currently winter, and thus flu season – Covid-19 has been predominant.
John Paul Cordina
18:20 Reiterating the importance of taking the necessary precautions, she highlights that those who have tested positive for Covid-19 did so because they did not.
John Paul Cordina
18:19 Melillo confirms that no cases have been reported in Gozo recently, contrary to rumours.
John Paul Cordina
18:18 Our editor-in-chief Sylvana Debono brings up a complaint from a reader, a vulnerable person, who has been awaiting a swab test for a week.

Melillo highlights, however, that in the face of overwhelming demand, certain cases needed to be prioritised, starting with people showing symptoms. Someone wishing to get tested solely because they were afraid, unfortunately, would have to wait for the time being.
John Paul Cordina
18:17 Melillo notes that they understood that people suffered when many restrictions were in place.

But if people did not want these restrictions to return, they needed to take the necessary precautions now.
John Paul Cordina
18:16 She emphasises that contrary to what people may believe, public health officials too wanted to achieve a balance between precautions and the quality of life.
John Paul Cordina
18:15 Asked whether a state of emergency will be called, Melillo states that if the high number of daily cases persists, the Superintendent of Public Health will probably have to.
John Paul Cordina
18:13 "People will continue to die, that is the reality," Mellilo warns.
John Paul Cordina
18:13 She cautions that too many were still gathering in places, and not wearing masks, so the virus continued to spread.
John Paul Cordina
18:11 The number of cases is now so high that the health system cannot keep up with the necessary contact tracing.
John Paul Cordina
18:10 Wherever a lot of people could be found, she adds, the chance of contracting Covid-19 was significant.

She clarifies that this does not apply in situations where all precautions are taken – such as in a shop – but certainly so in places like Paceville.
John Paul Cordina
18:09 Melillo warns that people are not realising that the virus is very much out there, and that they may be exposed to it everywhere they went.
John Paul Cordina
18:05 Good evening and welcome to our live blog.
John Paul Cordina

Today on Newsbook.com.mt at 6pm.

If you want to be the first to receive the latest news on the coronavirus in Malta, download the Newsbook APP here.