PM undermining health authorities for populist reasons, Delia claims

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of undermining Malta’s health authorities for populist reasons by resisting their recommendations for a lockdown for vulnerable people.

Speaking in Parliament, Delia praised the efforts of the health authorities – including the Health Ministry – in addressing the coronavirus outbreak over the past weeks.

“It is sad to note that the work done by our health authorities… in 12 weeks was undone by the Prime Minister in 12 minutes,” Delia said, referring to a televised interview last Friday. In that interview, Abela refuted claims that the elderly and vulnerable would be in lockdown, and the measures were considerably eased.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister said that the measures were changed following feedback from the public, but this was lambasted by the Opposition Leader.

“We cannot afford to be populist in this moment,” Delia exclaimed, adding that the government could put public satisfaction over the recommendations of health authorities when making its decisions.

The PN leader said that the government needed to be proactive, not reactive, stating that a number of mistakes had already been made, including a delay in closing borders and a delay in introducing mandatory quarantine where necessary.