Alarmed residents of the Ħal Far open centre are raising serious concerns that quarantine measures aimed to curb a major outbreak of COVID-19 within their walls were designed to protect the public and not residents themselves.
“We’re sharing everything, bathrooms and bedrooms. I’m terrified of getting it. And then what if I give it to someone else and they die from it? It’s crazy,” sources told Lovin Malta.
Photos sent to Lovin Malta show how residents are still queuing up for lunch in large groups, while many are still free to roam around the grounds in large groups.
There are over 1,000 residents in Hal Far, who still share communal bathrooms and dormitories, among other things.
“We don’t even have a sink or are given hand sanitizer? How on earth am I meant to keep myself protected?” sources explained.
Over the weekend, eight residents tested positive for COVID-19. The first was only uncovered during a routine check when they visited the hospital over an unrelated injury.
The government promised action, placing the centre under quarantine for the next weeks. At the same time, the Malta Red Cross opened a makeshift clinic. Open centre residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been segregated.
It has alleviated the public’s concerns. However, residents explained that this does little to address a potentially catastrophic outbreak within the centre’s walls.
Keeping them locked up in their rooms will do little to curb a major outbreak of the virus, sources argued. A drastic but necessary quarantine should be imposed.
“We’ve got hotels empty all over the island. We need to dedicate each room to quarantine a maximum of two persons to ensure a potentially fatal outbreak doesn’t occur.”
Malta has so far been able to keep the number of cases relatively controlled. There is yet to be a fatality, while the overwhelming majority of patients are in good condition.
COVID-19 spreading like wildfire through the centre threatens to erode any of the excellent work done so far.
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