The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have reportedly disagreed over stopping flights from northern Italy as the region enters lockdown over new coronavirus fears.
Chris Fearne, who is also Malta’s Health Minister, asked Abela to consider stopping flights to decrease the chances of the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus to Malta during a cabinet meeting, MaltaToday reported.
However, the Prime Minister reportedly shot down the idea, saying the island would not shut down flights from northern Italy, and that he would take responsibility for the decision, according to reports.
Northern Italy has been hard struck by the coronavirus, with up to 16 million people placed in lockdown in the region as the Italian government scrambles to contain the virus.
Just yesterday, Lovin Malta revealed that the first case of the coronavirus had been confirmed in Malta.
A 12-year-old Italian girl who had been on a holiday in the Trentino region was confirmed to be positive with coronavirus. Shortly after, her parents were also found to have the virus.
While they are reportedly in a stable condition and have been placed in self-quarantine, the pressure is mounting to address the spread of the coronavirus around the world.
Thermal scanners were installed in Malta’s airport last week, however, panic has reached segments of the Maltese population, with surges of shopping sprees happening in Malta as people stock up.
A petition to stop all flights from Italy into Malta has also been making the rounds.
For his part, Fearne said that people should not be alarmed by yesterday’s first positive case, and that health authorities do not yet feel the need to cancel or restrict popular events such as festivals, clubs, weddings and cinemas.
Government guidelines on how to decrease the risk of spreading the coronavirus can be found here.