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Pressure By Malta’s Tourism Lobby Has Resulted In ‘Disastrous Consequences’ For Public Health And Economy, Says Doctors’ Union

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The doctors’ association is accusing Malta’s hotel lobby group of applying pressure on the government, leading to “disastrous consequences” for the country’s tourism industry and public health.

“The pressure by the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has led to misguided decisions and disastrous consequences,” it said in a press release.

As a result, the Medical Association of Malta will be suspending all its directives for a week starting Saturday in hope of seeing “decisive action” by the government.

“The government cannot afford to be ‘in denial’ of the grave situation, or look like a ‘dazed and confused’ boxer after a knockout blow with no sense of direction.”

“It must recognise its errors and deal immediately and decisively to prevent further irreparable damage. It is now time to follow the advice of the experts in public health and be guided by scientific evidence.”

The MAM has been vocal with its criticism towards the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that opening Malta’s ports “with no precautions” and promoting mass events has put public health at risk. 

“Effective public health measures aiming to reduce the COVID-19 numbers in as short a time frame as possible are necessary,” it said.

“All events of more than 10 people are the ‘root cause’ of our problem and must be stopped immediately.”

Earlier this month, the MAM called for industrial action following a spike in COVID-19 cases and government inaction on banning mass events.

“If we are to avoid a lockdown, strict social distancing, and the widespread wearing of masks with very strict enforcement, preferably by the Police with on the spot fines, is necessary,” the association ended.

Malta currently has 505 active COVID-19 cases resulting in several countries imposing travel restrictions on the island, including the UK and Belgium.

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