Malta’s public health medicine association has stuck its neck out for Charmaine Gauci after the Superintendent of Public Health was asked at a press conference whether she would resign in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We would also like to voice our continued support to the Superintendent of Public Health who was subjected to an unjust attack and asked to defend her position in office during the last press conference,” the MAPHM, whose President Sascha Reiff is a lead at Malta’s COIVD-19 testing centres, said today.
“She together with her team have been instrumental in providing the technical advice in an unprecedented and stressful situation where tough considerations were and are still necessary but always in the best interest of public health.”
The MAPHM welcomed the latest raft of restrictions announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela, including the closure of restaurants, new limits on private gatherings at households, harsher fines, and a ban on contact sports among people 16 years old and younger.
“With community transmission of the virus having reached new heights, such restrictions need to be imposed to limit interactions, particularly in view of the emergence of more contagious virus variants,” the association said.
“We hope that these targeted measures, together with renewed individual discipline which is effectively enforced will be sufficient to halt this trend. Time will tell us more, and whether measures will need to be increased further.”
“The selection of measures needs to be regularly evaluated and adjusted based on the constantly changing situation and emerging scientific evidence.”
“Furthermore, it is imperative that such measures are complemented by effective enforcement, in a bid to improve on the evident societal complacency. At this stage of the pandemic where vaccine rollout is still in its early stages, spread in the community is high and our ITU beds are nearly full, we all need to make a final effort until the proportion of vaccinated persons is sufficient to reduce the spread to more manageable levels.”
“The number of cases also must go down to avoid being blacklisted by other countries, which will, in turn, impact heavily on the potential tourism coming our way.”
Cover photo: Left: Charmaine Gauci, Right: MAPHM President Sascha Reiff