MAM reacts to Covid-19 measures; Lambasts ‘fake’ enforcement

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Doctors have welcomed some of the new restrictive measures announced by the Government on Friday evening but said they remain very skeptical and unconvinced on the willingness to enforce by the government.

On Friday Malta reached a new daily record after 122 coronavirus cases were reported in 24 hours. In the evening, Prime Minister Robert Abela flanked by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne, Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri announced new measures in a bid to contain the spread among the community.

New measures announced after 122 coronavirus cases detected overnight
Watch: Masks mandatory outdoors – Abela

In a statement on Saturday, the Medical Association of Malta noted that that daily record numbers are being detected and that the trend of cases and hospitalizations keeps increasing. The doctors warned that more intensive care admissions and deaths will soon follow.

The association said that the government’s business as usual attitude and the illusion of fake normality has clearly backfired and led to record after record of cases. It noted that both the population and the economy have suffered enormously due to such mistakes.

The large uptake of the influenza vaccine while a good thing in itself is a clear reflection on how concerned the elderly are at risks to their health caused by these policies, MAM said.

Commenting on enforcement, the medical association said: “Fake measures such as “crisps with covid” in bars and social clubs (kazini) have acted as superspreaders.  “Fake” or no enforcement, coupled with “fake” and pardonable fines have led to regular mass events in areas like Paceville and Valetta.”

As from Monday bars and social clubs will have to close at 11pm, the association remarked that this measure will have no impact at all. It noted that the low number of fines given in two months does not augur well.

“Sadly both reflect the government is in reality unwilling to enforce,” MAM said.

Obligatory testing on arrival

MAM urged the government to introduce obligatory testing on all passengers who do not pretest before arrival. The association said that rapid tests should be deployed adding that this would come at a “hefty price tag for careless tourists”.

MAM welcomes the introduction of obligatory mask wearing indoors

Up to now the wearing of Masks at the workplace was only obligatory for workers in contact with the public, the association noted adding that the “fake” measure had misled thousands of office and factory workers not to wear masks in doors.

To date 90% of employees in Malta were under no obligation to wear masks indoors. After disastrous numbers of coronavirus cases arising in workers at their place of work to the detriment of their families, it appears that this blunder may now be rectified, the association said.

MAM has also called on the government to encourage more telework, warning that this is the last chance for the Maltese people before the government would be left with no option except to impose lockdowns and curfews.

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