Malta’s plans for a total lockdown to combat a major outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the country are “ready, written, and confirmed”, Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed during a press conference in which he unveiled more measures in the current partial lockdown.
Meanwhile, he urged all Maltese residents currently outside of the country to return home and for tourists in the country to leave. Air Malta has been working round the clock to bring Maltese residents trapped in other countries back home.
“Those who have to leave must leave, and those who have to come back must come back,” he said.
A full lockdown, like the one that was introduced in neighbouring Italy, would impose all residents to remain at home, barring scheduled times to purchase goods and other crucial supplies.
Despite describing a full lockdown as a “red button” measure to combat the outbreak, Abela would not rule out its introduction. He warned that the economic impacts of such a decision could be huge.
Abela rubbished criticism that he should have introduced the measure weeks ago, stressing the damage it would have caused, adding that it would have been unnecessary without any sustained local transmission on the island.
The three first locally transmitted cases have been confirmed. However, they are all linked to one single patient. The total number of active patients stands at 28, following two recoveries.
If you believe you are suffering from the coronavirus, follow the following guidelines:
Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
Do not go to Mater Dei, the emergency department, health centres, private clinics, or pharmacies. Stay home and call the public health authority’s helpline 111.
If you are returning from any country, do not break self-quarantine rules or you will be subject to a 1000 euro fine.
You can call +356 21324086 for advice.
Avoid calling 112 unless it is a real emergency. That emergency line is crucial in saving lives in peril, and having it be flooded with calls on the coronavirus could have fatal consequences.