Well-known political commentator Jeremy Camilleri has called national health regulations into question after his vulnerable father caught COVID-19 while being treated for a separate illness at Mater Dei.
In an impassioned post, Camilleri recounted how his father has remained at home throughout the pandemic because he suffers from asbestosis.
“We used to do his shopping for him and deliver him everything he wanted, because we were scared that he would get infected with COVID-19 otherwise,” he said.
However, his dad’s health deteriorated over the past month and, after consulting with doctor Jan Chircop, he was admitted to hospital. He was given a COVID-19 test as per procedure, tested negative, and was placed in a mixed ward.
“We were quite worried because we know he’s vulnerable and that people, ourselves included, have an hour in which they can visit patients,” Camilleri said.
“He was treated well and, apart from some small things, we didn’t have any reason to complain.”
Yet today Camilleri’s family received a phone call informing them that a patient in the same ward had tested positive for the virus. An hour later, they were informed that Camilleri’s father had tested positive too.
This experience has left Camilleri with a bad taste in the mouth.
“Has hospital has become more dangerous than home?” he asked. “Is it possible that vulnerable people aren’t isolated from other patients and their visitors? I’d have been fine not visiting him, guided by professionals, had I known that it was right for him.”
On a day that Malta registered a record 258 new COVID-19 cases, Camilleri called out people for adopting a nonchalant attitude to the situation.
“Why do we still have a quasi- business as usual mentality, with permits issued for protests and crowds gathering as though nothing was happening. Who will be held responsible if my dad ends up in a bad state? Why do some people not give a toss and why is enforcement practically non-existent?”
“To those who say we must get used to this and open everything, believe me, that you don’t want to be in the situation we’re in right now.”
What do you make of Jeremy Camilleri’s statement?