Second wave needs to be dealt with immediately and effectively, MAM and UĦM say

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Medical Association of Malta and the UĦM – Voice of the Workers, both of which are representing front line health care workers underlined that the second wave of the coronavirus has hit Malta and required immediate and effective measures.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the two organisations appealed to all interested parties to intensify their efforts to promote more discipline, more information and compliance with social distancing. They also appealed to the authorities to postpone the measures announced earlier this week by two weeks. This would enable a reversal of the trend before their introduction.

Earlier during the day, the Malta College of Pathologists warned that the coronavirus was still spreading with the community and was still a threat, despite the mixed messages being given.

“A timely intervention is necessary to prevent a second wave which might have serious consequences for the health of the Maltese people, especially frontline health care workers and to the economy,” the organisations said in a joint statement.

On Thursday, the government announced that 15 new cases were detected during the overnight tests by publishing an infographic on the Health Ministry’s Facebook page.

MAM and UĦM – Voices of the Workers pointed out that 15 cases in Malta are equivalent to 2,000 cases in Italy.

Pathologists warn that coronavirus still poses a threat

The Malta College of Pathologists has warned that the coronavirus still poses a significant threat to those living in Malta, adding that biggest mistake one can make is to underestimate the health implications of the virus.

In a statement on Thursday, the College reacted to Monday’s government’s statement when the easing of more restrictive measures was announced.

The College voiced its concern saying that the public is being given the impression that people have too much fear of the virus. “An emphasis was placed on telling the public to get out and about,” it remarked.

The medical professionals underlined that the coronavirus still poses a significant threat to our population and the biggest mistake would be to underestimate its implications.

“With the further relaxation of measures we, now more than ever, have to be much more careful and do our utmost to make sure that the virus does not spread. Social distancing, proper wearing of masks and constant washing of hands need to be at the forefront of everybody’s mind.”

The College of Pathologists warned against complacency saying that this would result in a sharp rise in cases and possibly to deaths.

“The only reason we have been successful so far is because of unparalleled public trust and cooperation with public health measures. With respect to wearing of masks, we would like to invite our public health colleagues to educate the public, preferably on national television, on how to use masks, as many people are wearing them incorrectly.”

The medical professionals also voiced their concern on the elderly and other vulnerable people who have been isolated since the beginning of the pandemic. This is causing a lot of distress and significant mental health issues.

They appealed to the authorities to provide clear instructions on how vulnerable people may start to slowly integrate into society without taking unnecessary risks.

The Malta College of Pathologists had words of praise for their fellow colleagues in particular those in the molecular diagnostic testing laboratory.

“[Their] sterling work has brought us to the fore as a laboratory with one of the highest rates of testing anywhere in the world. It is this extensive and continuous screening that has, until now, been the main reason for our success. This needs to be maintained.”

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