Return to home-working and self-isolation, Malta pathologists say on COVID-19 spike

Malta College of Pathologists: The situation is now spiralling out of control and urgent measures need to be taken to try and remedy the situation

Pathologists are calling for enforcement of social distancing measures and restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people
Pathologists are calling for enforcement of social distancing measures and restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people

Malta’s College of Pathologists has advised the Maltese to work from home again and practice self-isolation as a rise in COVID-19 cases risks ruining Malta’s success in handling the pandemic.

“The Malta College of Pathologists gets no satisfaction in seeing its predictions of a second coronavirus wave coming true,” said Dr Alexandra Betts. “The current situation, where we have gone from being the poster child of European COVID-19 success to the quarantine list of an increasing number of countries, was completely foreseeable. The situation is now spiralling out of control and urgent measures need to be taken to try and remedy the situation.”

The College endorsed Medical Association of Malta’s position that all mass gatherings, anything over 10 people, must be prohibited. “This is not the time for cosmetic measures. It is only a matter of time before this wave of COVID-19 infections is followed by increased hospitalisation rates and deaths. This is not scaremongering; it is the basic characteristic of the epidemiology of COVID-19.”

Apart from the prohibition of mass gatherings, the MCP said social distancing must be strictly reintroduced and enforced. “Many restaurants have completely abandoned the rules of social distancing. The wearing of masks in public places where social distancing is not possible must be strongly enforced, ideally as a legal obligation.”

It also said working from home should be once again encouraged, and the elderly and vulnerable remain inside as much as possible, as in the absence of a vaccine, they are especially vulnerable to infection due the expected rise in the number of asymptomatic infected persons.

“The College appeals to all who are awaiting testing to isolate themselves until their test result is known. If the situation deteriorates further, the authorities will also need to seriously consider swabbing all people flying in to Malta.

“The College appeals to our political leaders to treat the current situation with the extreme urgency it deserves, be humble enough to admit that mistakes have been made, and show a genuine commitment to address them. It again reiterates its position that, if the situation continues to deteriorate from a medical perspective, this will automatically impact on the economy and social fabric of the country. The consequences will be far worse than any containment measure we need to introduce in the immediate term,” Betts said.

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