Coronavirus in Cabinet: Abela and health minister disagree over stopping flights

Prime Minister Robert Abela has disagreed with Chris Fearne's recommendation to stop flights from northern Italy

Robert Abela and Chris Fearne
Robert Abela and Chris Fearne

Deputy prime minister and health minister Chris Fearne called on Prime Minister Robert Abela to temporarily stop flights from northern Italy, as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The call was made in a Cabinet meeting, MaltaToday has learnt.

But Abela disagreed with Fearne, reportedly saying he would assume responsibility for the decision not to stop flights from the north of Italy, where there is the highest concentration of conoravirus cases in the whole of Europe.

In Cabinet Fearne has been discordant with some of Abela’s arguments, and in the case of the Steward hospital deal, he has made it clear that he will not be burdened with the decisions of Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

With the announcement yesterday of the first conoravirus case, a 12-year-old Italian girl who had holidayed in Trentino with her family of four, the pressure is on the government to take swift action.

Fearne said yesterday that the singular case should not be a cause for alarm and reassured the public that protocols are in place. He said that the self-imposed quarantine of the family encouraged the health authorities not to feel the need to impose restrictions on events such as cinemas, weddings and dance clubs.