The Leader of the Opposition has called out the government for not taking the necessary steps to protect the island in time, leading to the spread of COVID-19 variants one year after the pandemic began in Malta.
In a fiery session in Parliament, Bernard Grech called Prime Minister Robert Abela’s discourse over the last few months “irresponsible”, going on to say Abela had been too focused on convincing the country that all was fine instead of rolling out effective measures.
“If you don’t recognise the problem, how can you effectively address it and solve it?” Grech asked. “You need to go to the doctor, recognise it and then see what needs to happen.”
He turned to the UK variant of the virus that’s currently spreading across the island and has led to a record-breaking 510 cases found yesterday.
“If you knew this variant was a nuclear bomb, why didn’t you take precautions? You’re told there’s a dangerous variant? Then make sure it doesn’t enter our country!”
Grech also asked why more serious investment was not made to protect Malta’s borders to ensure the virus is stopped before it enters the island.
“But today, all of that is useless – it’s here, and it’s causing chaos. And why? Because you were fixated on selling the people on everything being rosy.”
Grech said everyone makes mistakes, and that it was good to give people hope, but asked the government to be humble when people reach out to them with their concerns, instead of “ignoring them”. He spoke of several vulnerable people and their fears, including his mother, who he’s seen behind a perspex slider for a year now.
“We can’t keep coming to Parliament for these theatrics – we have an obligation to be mature, serious and correct with people,” he said.
Grech also uploaded a status where he went through the ways he would have approached the pandemic differently, from listening to the experts to limiting some of the more hopeful speech Abela has been criticised for using over the last 12 months