[WATCH] Coronavirus: Beppe Fenech Adami says government 'not protecting disciplined forces enough'

PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami says government has an obligation to reveal its plans for the disciplined forces if the coronavirus crisis continues to escalate

PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami
PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami

Opposition MP Beppe Fenech Adami has criticised the government for not protecting police and other disciplined forces enough in the light of the spread of the coronavirus.

People in disciplined forces were continuously being exposed to the virus in their line of duty, he said. Police at police stations and on the street are not protected enough, Fenech Adami said.

Few police are seen wearing masks and there was no plan for the regular fumigation of police stations, he added.

In other countries, education campaigns and special phone lines and websites had been set up for the public to contact the police without physically going to police stations, potentially spreading the virus.

“The more the virus spreads, the more we will need the police, armed forces and other disciplined bodies. We must protect them as best we can,” he said, adding that these people’s families were also concerned.

“The government has an obligation to reveal its plans for these sectors in case the crisis continues to escalate,” he noted.

Fenech Adami also spoke about the Corradino prisons, where over 200 cells contained more than one inmate, describing the situation there as a time bomb as it was "very crowded, rendering the requirements of social distancing impossible."

He asked what the government was doing to prevent infections in prisons and not react after the fact. Fenech Adami suggested that elderly prisoners be segregated and transferred to other forms of detention. 

MaltaToday recently reported a number of stringent measures being implemented at Corradino Correctional Facility. These were subsequently stepped up in preparation for a full lockdown.

Likewise officers and inmates at migrant detention centres must be protected, Fenech Adami said, saying that they had been provided with hand sanitizer and nothing else. “They are very worried,” he added.

He also criticised the fact that immigration officials were potentially exposed to the virus until flights were stopped, a measure he described as too little, too late.