MAM concerned with the lack of leadership; Calls for stricter measures

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Medical Association of Malta, MAM, calls on the health authorities to come up with an effective strategy and measures, similar to those in Spain, France and the UK, to bring the epidemic under control.

In a statement issued on Monday, MAM stated that with daily numbers close to hundreds, “the Prime Minister cannot behave like an ostrich with its head in the sand and state that it is business as usual, while deaths continue to occur from Covid every day.”

The Association also said that things will get much worse if the health care system collapses because of these very high numbers. It mentioned how the local Intensive Care Unit is nearly full up and will soon not be able to deal with increasing number of serious cases, whether related to COVID-19, traffic accidents or other disease.

“The government must stop sending mixed messages that the epidemic is under control, grossly underestimating the gravity of the situation as this has encouraged many people not to take mask wearing seriously, accelerating the spread of the virus. The idea that our elderly citizens can be sacrificed for the economy is unethical and completely unacceptable,”said MAM

In its statement the Association noted how many people have become fed up with the restrictive measures, however according to WHO there is hope that a vaccine is very likely to be available by the end of the year. For these reasons MAM is calling for;

  • Obligatory mask-wearing in all indoor places without exception and extend the obligation to all workplaces irrespective of social distancing
  • Step up the educational campaign on how to wear masks and clearly explain why they are necessary
  • Shielding of the elderly and vulnerable groups should be intensified
  • Intensifying enforcement on mask-wearing and more fines are essential as regards to mask-wearing
  • At the airport, introduce mandatory screening on all incoming passengers to swab 72 hours before departure rather than taking a very small sample.  Flights from cities where a local lockdown is in place should be stopped
  • Teleworking and work from home should continue to be encouraged

The Medical Association of Malta has also urged the autorities to consider more restrictive measures on non-essential services if the above fail which must always be financially compensated for their losses, according to MAM.