Watch: More measures may be needed to bring Covid-19 cases down – Martin Balzan

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

More measures may be needed to bring the number of Covid-19 cases down, as the present measures only appear to have managed to stop their number from increasing, according to the Medical Association of Malta.

But MAM president Martin Balzan also emphasised that such measures must be accompanied with compensation offered to affected sectors.

Speaking on today’s edition of Newsbook Hour on 103 Malta’s Heart, Balzan emphasised that according to the method used by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the prevalence of Covid-19 in Malta has not yet started falling.

Until a few days ago, Malta had the second-highest rate of Covid-19 transmission among EU members. It is now ranked third-highest, but Balzan highlights that this was only because of a spike in cases in France, rather than a drop of cases in Malta.

More flight controls, extended voucher period

Asked to specify what should be done, Balzan insisted that all travellers should either present a negative swab test or get tested on arrival to Malta.

At present, Malta only requires this measure for those arriving from four countries – Bulgaria, Czechia, Romania and Tunisia – and the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Girona which have been placed on an amber list. Despite the recent surge in cases, France is not yet included in the list.

“How can you control the epidemic when the door is being left wide open,” Balzan asked.

He noted that Covid-19 had practically disappeared before the reopening of the airport, though he highlighted that Malta acted irresponsibly through the parties and other mass events that were allowed to take place. But he added that such events could have taken place regardless had the airports remained close.

The MAM also believes that the vouchers handed to all Malta residents to boost spending should retain their validity until at least December, to avoid a rush of people seeking to make use of them before the September deadline comes.

The doctors’ union has also proposed a number of other measures to the Superintendence of Public Health, though for the time being, it has chosen to do so privately.