Public health emergency order gives wide powers to Superintendent

Malta has declared a public health emergency, giving the superintendent of public health wide-ranging powers to take all measures necessary to eliminate the threat of COVID-19.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Malta has declared a public health emergency, giving the superintendent of public health wide-ranging powers to take all measures necessary to eliminate the threat of COVID-19.

The declaration was made through a legal notice issued with no public announcement on Wednesday, The Times reported.

The World Health Organization had declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January.

The legal notice gives the Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci, the power to take all the measures she considers necessary to “reduce, remove or eliminate” the threat to public health.

These measures could include segregating or isolating people, evacuating people from any area, preventing access to places, controlling the movement of any vehicle and ordering people to undergo medical examinations.

The superintendent has also been given the power to order that any substance or object be destroyed, among any other actions she may deem appropriate. Any person who does not comply with any direction issued by the superintendent shall be guilty of an offence.

She also has the power to regulate the occupancy of premises to prevent overcrowding.

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