Medical students call for strict adherence to public health guidelines

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Miguela Xuereb

The Malta Medical Students Association has appealed to everyone to strictly adhere to the guidelines and regulations issued by the public health authorities, particularly during the upcoming midterm recess and holiday season.

In a statement, the MMSA emphasised the importance of wearing masks properly, respecting social distancing rules and practicing proper hand hygiene.

“You may not be feeling any symptoms but still be a carrier of the virus, potentially transmitting it to others. Stay at home if you are experiencing any symptoms, directed to quarantine or advised to self-isolate,” the MMSA said. “Everybody should carry a fair share of responsibility so as to not overwhelm our healthcare system and limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The association observed that the increase in the number of Covid-19 ITU patients was stressing the available human resources, and that the provision of more beds on its own would not be enough. At the same time, the mobilisation of healthcare workers to Covid-19 wards and theatres was causing the abrupt and unplanned cancellation of elective surgeries.

It also highlighted that the high number of cases reported daily is leaving behind a backlog in contact tracing, warning that each case which is not properly traced allows for cross-spreading and the creation of more clusters.

‘No excuses’ to avoid proper mask wearing

MMSA insisted that proper mask wearing should be observed with “no excuses, especially by influential individuals who represent the nation and guide us forward.”

It also called for proper social media use, encouraging the public to seek news from official sources to minimise anxiety and avoid unnecessary false alarms.

The association warned that while vulnerable populations were most affected by COVID-19, everyone was susceptible to infection and may experience severe complication. It also highlighted that other diseases and conditions were still a reality, advising people not to delay seeking medical attention if require.

“Moreover, let us also take care of our own and each other’s mental health,” it said.

“Let us stop the stigma associated with COVID-19. Call, facetime or message relatives, friends and colleagues who have tested positive or are isolating. There are also services in place if you require further support, 1770 is a 24-hr telephone service offered by Richmond Foundation.“