The head of Malta’s COVID-19 public health response team Kenneth Grech was allegedly fired over a leak concerning his advice over schools’ reopening amid a spike in cases.
According to a report from Times of Malta, sources have claimed that Grech had told the Education Ministry, its Permanent Secretary in the Education Ministry Frank Fabri, and other relevant stakeholders to shut down schools after a spike in COVID-19 cases over the Christmas period.
The advice, the report says, was leaked to the Malta Union of Teachers, who then called a two-day strike over the issue. Schools have since reopened following negotiations between MUT and the government.
Earlier, the Medical Association of Malta revealed that an unnamed coordinator had been “removed after having the courage to recommend caution on the consequences for the re-opening of the schools.”
The unnamed coordinator has now been revealed to be Grech, a public health expert and former Health Ministry permanent secretary under the PN administration. Grech is allegedly the right-hand man of Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci.
The MUT later commented on the issue, explaining in a statement that “all professionals are duty-bound to provide scientific advice about their own specialisation and this should never lead to their removal”.
Staff are allegedly furious with the decision, insisting that they “cannot be muzzled” when giving scientific advice
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