The Medical Association of Malta, MAM, said is disappointed that the government is putting economic interests before health and appeals to the Maltese public to remain very alert and cautious and as much as possible keep social distancing and avoid any form of crowding in public places. Staying at home remains the safest option, stated the association in a statement issued on Monday.
On Sunday Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Robert Abela hinted that restaurants and hairdressers will re-open this week and that people should enjoy beaches while maintaining social distancing.
MAM expressed its preoccupation and its serious concern by a high stakes and high risk decision taken by the Prime Minister.
The rising numbers should have advised more caution rather than a very hazardous move of reopening restaurants and bars, a move which has led to major problems in Japan, Singapore and South Korea, who had to regret this decision and reverse it soon after, said the Association which also explained that a high number of cases this week for four consecutive days has occurred exactly two weeks after the first easing measures by the government.
Unfortunately, these measures have given the impression that wearing a surgical mask protects you from COVID-19, and as a result, many people are failing to comply with social distancing rules, and many vulnerable groups such as the elderly could be seen outside shops this week, said MAM.
“As a result the global world meter scale for COVID-19 cases Malta has moved up to the top twenty nations, having twice the number of daily cases per population when compared to Italy, Spain and Germany. The country may have lost 8 weeks because we now have the numbers we had two months ago. This is most unfortunate as to date Malta has had the lowest death rate in the European Union”, said the association.
It also mentioned how just one infected patient in a single ward led to at least 10 cases amongst health care workers, three wards to be closed temporarily for disinfection, and tens of health care workers put on quarantine.
While the MAM supports the high number of swabs performed it said they are showing that there are estimates of 5 cases per 1000 population of asymptomatic carriers. Furthermore, every day around 100 cases who are referred by testing by medical doctors do not turn up for swabbing which are a great risk to the Maltese community.
While MAM said it sympathizes with workers in the tourism and leisure industry, it noted that the industry’s lobby for an early easing of measures may be leading Malta to be amongst the top ten countries with the daily number COVID-19, further harming the industry rendering impossible any notion of “safe corridor”.
The economy is not comparable to the health of the individual – MEHOA
The Malta Environmental Health Officers Association (MEHOA) has joined the other associations, MAM and MUMN, stating that although there is the uplifting of the several measures for the control of the coronavirus pandemic, the public should still take extra care as there might be severe consequences.
MEHOA said it understands that the economy is an important pillar, but it is not comparable to the health of the individual.
The association said that there are conflicting messages between the authorities, and thus, these are creating confusion amongst the public.
The association representing the Environmental Health Officers noted how its members, like the Police Officers, Doctors, Health Care Workers, and other workers are making sacrifices including distancing themselves from their loved ones and for this reason it reminded the public that the pandemic situation is real and all we need to maintain the success obtained to date.
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