People not wearing face masks cannot be reported on 119

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

People caught not wearing face masks cannot be reported on 119, despite health authorities urging the public to report such instances using this number.

Readers who have spoken to Newsbook.com.mt said that they have used the number which was publicized by the health authorities to report instances when a person was seen without a mask in a public place and another person was breaching quarantine rules.

After calling 119, this newsroom reached the Police Headquarters. The officer instructed Newsbook.com.mt to call 21324086, explaining that 119 is used to report suspected criminal offences and urgent matters. This newsroom made a call using the number provided by the police and was subsequently instructed to send an email. The health authorities have been informed about the situation.

During a special edition of Newsbook Hour aired on 103 Malta’s Heart after new restrictive measures were announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne and Public Health Superintendent Professor Charmaine Gauci, Public Health consultant Dr Tanya Melillo insisted that the public needs to cooperate with the health authorities. She noted that over the past weeks, the health authorities had to deal with an increased workload as the cases of coronavirus surged.

Dr Melillo on the importance of using face masks:
Watch: Face masks should be worn in public – Dr Melillo

Dr Melillo reminded the public on the correct use of masks. It is only by covering one’s mouth and nose that a person protects themselves and others. She noted that none of the cases reported so far were linked to hairdressers or going to Church, saying that the rules were being followed at these places. One may not wear a face mask at the beach if social distancing is practiced, she added. Dr Melillo highlighted the importance of maintaining social distancing at all times and choosing beaches which are not crowded.

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