Malta’s government and its Opposition need to work together if the island is to be truly prepared and minimise the risk of Coronavirus contagion, PN leader Adrian Delia argued in a news conference earlier today.
Addressing the public from the PN headquarters, Delia welcomed the government’s decision to close all educational institutions starting from tomorrow… but said much more should be done in the way of collaboration between the two major parties.
“I’m glad that the Prime Minister this morning said we need to cooperate,” Delia said, going on to note that the governmemt had repeatedly refused to involve the Opposition in its planning. “We are here, saying with humility: ‘Let’s go’. And let’s meet, and take as long as possible, discussing what the country needs.”
Delia went on to outline a number of proposals that the PN has come up with through the setting up of an interal task force and group of experts… including door-to-door deliveries of medicine and food to the elderly.
To minimise the risk of contagion when it comes to the more prone members of our society, Delia brought up the suggestion of having food and medicine being delivered to the elderly, using the army or expanding the Meals On Wheels services if necessary.
“Less people on the roads and less people on public transport means less people spreading the virus,” the Opposition Leader clarified.
Delia went on to tackle the issue of quarantine leave and the public sector, pointing to the 50,000 civil servants on a government payroll that could play a vital role.
With regards to the public sector, the PN’s proposals would see all civil servants that can work from home in the coming days doing so with immediate effect, instnatly reducing tens of thousands of people from Malta’s streets.
Meanwhile, as for the much-debated issue of quarantine leave, Delia said there could be “a great deal of confusion on leave that can create panic”.
Saying government should not hesitate to extend quarantine requirements to arrivals from all countries affected by the virus and not just the short list announced yesterday as a “strict but necessary measure”, Delia also called on the government to compensate businesses for the impact of the quarantine leave.
“This is a government that boasted about a surplus,” Delia continued. “Now is the time for this surplus to be used in the best interest of the country when it’s most needed.”
“It’s better to try manage this before it’s too late,” Delia appealed to the government and the general public. “We need to work together as a country. We are ready to work together… but the government needs to come to us.”