Walking with a cigarette as an excuse is abuse warns health expert

We need to also be sensitive to exceptions such as diabetics who may need to eat in public places noted Dr Melillo.

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Sauntering down a street with Mask under chin and puffing away as a cigarette is an abuse of the law warned Public Health consultant Dr Tanya Melillo. Dr Melillo stated that the exemption for smoking was never meant to be used as an excuse to go maskless in public. While smoking is bad for the health, said Dr Mellilo, if one must smoke then this should be done in a quiet, private corner without endangering others.

Dr Melillo was replying to questions sent by readers of Newsbook.com.mt and of 103 Malta’s Heart.

Stigma

Dr Melillo had strong words for those who seek to stigmatise persons who had Covid or were in quarantine. Shunning these people, aside from the normal precautions if they are still covid positive “shows ignorance” and helps to drive the contagion into hiding. Most people by now know of a relative, a friend or an acquaintance who has had covid or who has had to go into quarantine, said Melillo and by creating a stigma, people will simply not go for testing and the real amount of the spread will not be known, making the work of the front liners that much more complicated.

Immunity

Another aspect which came out of the questions raised by the readers of Newsbook.com.mt was that of immunity. Dr Melillo said that no one should take it for granted that having had covid once, the person will not catch it again. “We have had several persons who caught it twice,” said Dr Melillo. She added that the understanding of the virus is still meagre and the immunity following the virus is certainly not one of long duration, hence the danger of relapse. The health expert said that the only insurance of some form of immunity will be the vaccine and even that needs to be tested.