Health professionals join doctors’ union in call for ban on mass events

Number of medical associations appeal to government to revoke permits for mass events

Malta's medical associations have joined the call for a government ban on mass events in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases
Malta's medical associations have joined the call for a government ban on mass events in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases

Malta’s medical associations have joined a call by the doctors’ union to ban all mass events with immediate effect in light of the recent spike in coronavirus cases.

A number of medical associations said on Monday that they were endorsing today’s appeal by the Medical Association of Malta, and were “strongly and publicly calling on the government to revoke all permits for mass events.”

The health professionals said the government should “prioritise the health and wellbeing of the whole nation over the economic interests of a minority.”

They also called on the government to be more attentive to public health recommendations when formulating policy in the future.

“After months of restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID pandemic, we were pleased to note the progressive return to a new normality, that struck the balance between the economic needs of the country and the mitigation measures that will continue to contain the virus,” the medical associations said.

“This balance is essential to ensure that this important recovery is not jeopardised and the low number of active cases registered in the last few weeks is a testimony to the success of this approach. Importantly, many health services that had to be postponed or suspended during the COVID crisis have been restored to the benefit of our patients and the population at large.”

The health professionals said they had noted with “grave concern” the recent spike in COVID cases, which they said resulted from the organisation of mass events.

“In the weeks to come there are several such events planned, that will bring together tens of thousands of revellers, in a context where mitigation measures are difficult to implement,” the associations said.

“As we have seen, these events have the potential to result in large surges of cases which are more difficult to contain and risk compromising all the gains that have been made through our collective sacrifice at the early stages of the pandemic.”

Unfortunately, the government has yet to sensibly respond to the spike in cases, by heeding the growing calls for the prohibition of such events, they added.

The statement was signed by:

Association of Anaesthesiology of Malta (AAM)

Association of Emergency Physicians of Malta (AEPM)

Association of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeons of Malta (AOTSM)

Association of Private Family Doctors (APFD)

Association of Surgeons of Malta (ASM)

Maltese Association of Opthalmologists (MAO)

Maltese Association of Otolaryngologists and Head and Neck Surgeons

Maltese Association of Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians (MARNMP)

Maltese Paediatric Association (MPA)