Covid-19, Malta introduces new measures to control the pandemic
While Malta has registered a new record number of COVID-19 positive cases, the Maltese government has announced new measures to control the pandemic. The Nationalist Opposition has stated that Prime Minister Robert Abela has lost control over the pandemic and the Medical Association declared that if these measures fail there will be no option left except lock downs and curfews as has happened in Spain, France and the UK.
On Friday, the health authorities registered 122 new cases. This brings the number of active cases up to 1,095. The Superintendent of Public Health, Professor Charmaine Gauci confirmed that the number of positive cases related to bars have increased once again. She also appealed to workplaces to take the situation seriously and to implement the necessary measures and to promote teleworking whenever necessary.
From today, masks must also be worn in the streets and in any public outdoor space. Anyone who does not adhere to this measure, will get fined. Till yesterday, masks have been obligatory in public transport, in spaces for public services such as shops.
Entertainment and catering establishments will all be closing at 11pm, as of next Monday. This includes bars and band clubs. The Medical Association said that the closure at 11pm will have no impact at all, while the very low number of 800 fines in two months does not augur well. “Sadly both reflect the government is in reality unwilling to enforce,” added MAM President Martin Balzan.
As of 28th October, rapid testing is to be introduced at the airport and seaport. On Friday, cruise liner MSC Grandiosa was not allowed to disembark passengers in Malta, after a suspected case of coronavirus on board. This was confirmed by Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.
The Medical Association said that testing just 15 arrivals a day at the airport was another “fake” measure, meaning that possibly hundreds of cases are coming to Malta with Covid every week and remain undetected. MAM is insisting on obligatory testing on all passengers who do not pretest before arrival should be introduced.