New measures likely to be effective, but not immediately – Dr Melillo

Dr Tanya Melillo

The new measures announced today to contain the spread of Covid-19 are likely to be effective since they target two main contributors to the alarming rise in active cases recorded in recent weeks, according to public health consultant Tanya Melillo.

However, Dr Melillo, who heads the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit, warned that their impact would only be felt in a week or two given the incubation period of the coronavirus, and that the number of new cases could well rise in the coming days.

Melillo was speaking to in a special programme organised to discuss the impact of the new measures.

The new measures were announced as the pandemic reaching unprecedented levels in Malta – the 3 highest daily numbers of new cases were registered over the last 3 days – and Melillo was one of the guests of a special programme hosted by to discuss their impact.

She highlighted that tourists with Covid-19 had contributed to the resurgence in cases, and that through large social gatherings – particularly Paceville – the virus continued to spread in the community.

“So through these measures, which are focusing on these two sources, we will be noticing an impact, though not overnight,” Melillo said.

No Covid-19 spread where precautions are followed

Melillo emphasised the importance of complying with the new measures, highlighting that even in the midst of the ongoing resurgence of cases, precautions have proven effective where they were employed.

“Take the Church: we have had no cases of people catching or spreading Covid-19 during Mass, because they are strict,” she said. “It’s the same with hairdressers: they are sticking to their measures so there have been no outbreaks in hair salons.”

People should also seek to apply common sense as they sought to stick to social distancing, Melillo maintained. Whilst going for a swim could easily be a safe activity, a packed beach ought to be avoided.

“With some common sense, people can continue to live their lives,” she said. “But they need to keep themselves, their loved ones and the people around them in mind.”

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