Watch: Avoid using Gozo ferries unless necessary – Camilleri

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

One should not travel to Gozo unnecessarily, Minister for Gozo said on Thursday evening in Parliament.

Speaking in parliament, Camilleri spoke about the measures being taken to prepare the sister island for the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. Earlier on Thursday, Speaker Anġlu Farrugia turned down a request by the Opposition to suspend Parliament’s agenda to discuss the coronavirus outbreak in today’s sitting.

Minister Camilleri said that Gozo was prepared for the eventuality of people testing positive for the virus. He added that all the patients seen to so far tested negative for coronavirus.

The ferries used between the two islands will start being disinfected using “hospital grade disinfectant” as of Thursday night, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

The minister advised that this process will affect some trips particularly between 23:30 and 00:30. This will remain in force until further notice.

Camilleri urged people to avoid trips on the Gozo Channel which were not needed.

In parliament, Camilleri said that in the eventuality that someone tests positive for coronavirus on Gozo, the Ministry had plans on how to transfer the patient to Malta in a “safe and secure manner”.

Camilleri explained that the Gozo Channel is ready to use a specially chartered ship to transport a patient alone with medics in an ambulance, but with no other passengers on board. He added that this would be done to reduce risk and any alarm amongst the public.

The Minister for Gozo said that if the number of Covid-19 positive cases increases, they would might have to look at treating patients in Gozo. For this to happen, Gozo General Hospital which is operated by Steward Healthcare would have to increase the number of isolation beds.

Gozo Channel announced that it has increased the number of sanitiser dispensers and will be leaving the doors open as a precautionary measure.

The dispensers were installed in terminals and on board all of the ferries.