“If we had to be able to predict the future, the current measures would probably be different… but we just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Prime Minister Robert Abela has said, explaining why Malta “can’t remain cut off from the rest of the world” as health authorities continue to come under pressure to implement stricter measures and many people bring up the subject of lockdown yet again.
“Adding more panic and alarm won’t do anything,” Abela said. “We have an excellent healthcare system, and we also have the advantage of months of experience this time round.”
Quoting Minister Fearne from yesterday’s eight-hour marathon of discussions with the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), Abela said that a vaccine might be “months away, longer, might never even come, or might not be successful at all”.
Reminding everyone that four major festivals originally planned for September (and the remaining mass events) had actually been called off, Abela stressed on the importance of social distancing, added testing and even mentioned the new regulations introduced this morning, which include a €50 fine for whoever isn’t wearing masks in shops and establishments. He did however still take time to remind everyone multiple times that the four festivals would’ve “pumped €25 million into the Maltese economy”.
“Our hospital beds are literally empty. The worst thing we could do right now is to add measures which would paralyse the nation.”
“This shouldn’t be disregarded, but let’s not say that a catastrophe is coming,” Abela went on, explaining how most COVID-19 cases are mild and that the balance between health and economy needs to persist.
“We are not ready to accept that people’s quality of life decreases because there’s a pandemic,” Abela stressed.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Fearne announced a slew of new restrictive measures, including a 100-person cap for indoor events and a 300-person limit for even the largest of outdoor events.
“We believe these measures that we’re strengthening from last week and introducing today will continue to help us put the situation under control,” Fearne finished.