Medical expert warns: wearing masks not optional as sporadic cases rise

face masks
Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

From the data gathered from the SAĦĦA page on Facebook, the number of sporadic cases of COVID-19 seems to be near the 40% mark. The page is administered by the Ministry for health and the data is not always easy to read. However, given the amount of person in clusters, one can normally arrive at the numbers which are ‘unaccounted for’. These are the ‘sporadic’ cases, that is an infection of COVID-19 taken through the community through no discernible source. Earlier in the month, the Superintendent of Public Health had placed the sporadic contagion at a 30% mark but from the data accrued through the published infographic, it seems that the number has crept up to about 42%. To date, if one adds up the numbers for September, there have been 1057 cases of COVID-19, of which deduced 433 to have been sporadic.

Numbers creeping up

When one looks at the pattern which the numbers make, two elements are discernible: that the trend for contagion is tending to be on the increase, albeit at a very slow pace. When one looks at the pattern made by the sporadic cases, these seem to largely follow the path of the general COVID trend indicating that this cycle is far from being exhausted.

Situation very serious

A medical expert who preferred not to be named said that the situation is very serious. The expert said that with the powers that be refusing to close off sectors of the economy, indeed moving to open up schools in these tenuous circumstances, the numbers can only get worse. “To find some sort of mitigation, there needs to be a trade-off: some sectors closing for the schools to open. Also, the public must understand that this is not a question of wearing a mask if you feel like it. Wearing a mask is a must” said the medical expert. In this, the President of the Medical Association of Malta has similar sentiments. Dr Martin Balzan exhorted the government to close Gyms and Bars prior to opening the schools.

Meanwhile, Malta ranks high in the number of cases-per-million statistics. This data is important because it places all countries at par, irrespective of the size. It gives a clear, if extrapolated, picture of the way the country is faring in the pandemic.