MAM condemns “baseless” judicial protest filed against Fearne & Prof. Gauci

The Association calls on Prime Minister to declare a public health emergency

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Medical Association of Malta, MAM, strongly condemns the judicial protest lodged in court opposing the current measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta. Both Mr Chris Fearne and Prof. Gauci have a strong academic background and are well respected with the medical profession not only for their competence but also for their integrity, said the association.

On Tuesday, a group of 62 people who are sceptical about the effects of COVID-19 filed a judicial protest against Health Minister Chris Fearne and Public Health Superintendent Prof. Charmaine Gauci accusing them of instilling national panic over the pandemic.

These people argued that Prof. Gauci introduced a set of restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading without declaring a state of emergency. They also questioned the results of the swab tests done to see whether a person is infected with COVID-19.

With this judicial protest, the group of people want Prof. Gauci to revoke “medically insensible” decisions such as wearing masks in public, social distancing that prevents families from meeting, and other rules related to burying relatives.

MAM strongly condemned this and described the judicial protest as  “senseless and baseless,” and saying that the withdrawal of measures now would lead to a major public health disaster. MAM said it disagrees with the reasons mentioned in the judicial protest as not only they have no scientific basis but the withdrawal of the current measures at the stage would lead to a major public health disaster.

Minster Fearne and Prof. Gauci are lucky to be backed by a highly qualified team, said the Association which has also noted how at least five public health specialists occupy senior positions in WHO, one at the European Centre of Disease Control, one chairs Public Health Expert Board for the European Commission, and three are past Presidents of major European Public Health Associations.

It further explained how all public health legislation in all democratic countries in the European Union permits temporary suspension in personal freedoms if justified by major public health threats such as coronavirus, as the great good to society prevails. Furthermore, this is also accepted by all major religious creeds and in fact, the local religious leaders have been very supportive of the measures, said the Medical Association of Malta.

MAM also said that based on the scientific advice of many experts has supported the opinion that with the current case numbers and mortality more restrictive measures may be necessary and for this reason, it is in disagreement with the Prime Minister and the cabinet that additional public health measures have not been introduced.

Furthermore, it is essential that a public health emergency must be declared so that the sentiments exemplified in the judicial protest are not encouraged amongst the general public, concluded the Association.