Pathologists warn that coronavirus pandemic is spiralling out of control

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Malta College of Pathologists has warned that the coronavirus pandemic was spiralling out of control and has called for urgent measures to be reintroduced.

In a statement on Monday, the college noted that Malta went from being the ‘poster child’ of European success to the pandemic to being on the quarantine list of an increasing number of countries.

The college has endorsed a call made by the Medical Association of Malta to reintroduce a ban on mass gatherings, adding that this meant that only gatherings up to ten people should be allowed.

‘This is not the time for cosmetic measures. It is only a matter of time before this wave of coronavirus infections is followed by increased hospitalisation rates and deaths. This is not scaremongering; it is the basic characteristic of the epidemiology of the virus,’ the college said.

Pathologists have also called for social distancing to be reintroduced and enforced, noting that many restaurants ‘abandoned’ the rules. The college also called for the wear of masks in public places where social distancing is not possible. At present, it is only mandatory to wear masks inside retail outlets and on board public transport and the Gozo Channel ferries. Working from home must, once again, be encouraged, it said.

The college said that the elderly and vulnerable must remain inside as much as possible, as in the absence of a vaccine, they are especially vulnerable to infection due the expected rise in the number of asymptomatic infected persons. It also appealed to all who are awaiting testing to isolate themselves until their test result is known.

“If the situation deteriorates further, the authorities will also need to seriously consider swabbing all people flying in to Malta.”

The college appealed to the political leaders to treat the current situation with extreme urgency.

“Be humble enough to admit that mistakes have been made, and show a genuine commitment to address them. If the situation continues to deteriorate from a medical perspective, this will automatically impact on the economy and social fabric of the country. The consequences will be far worse than any containment measure we need to introduce in the immediate term,” the statement reads.

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