Teachers union calls for stricter measures to combat COVID-19 spread, gives government ultimatum

The Malta Union of Teachers has given the government an ultimatum until 15 October to introduce stricter measures to combat the spread of coronavirus in the community or face directives from the union 

Schools re-opened with strict safety protocols but a lack of enforcement in the wider community has led to a surge in COVID-19 infections
Schools re-opened with strict safety protocols but a lack of enforcement in the wider community has led to a surge in COVID-19 infections

Malta Union of Teachers has given the government a three-day ultimatum to introduce "concrete, consistent and enforceable" measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The MUT said it was concerned with the number of positive cases being reported every day as Malta grapples with a surge in  coronavirus infections.

“The number of positive cases in our country is large and together with the increased rate of transmission in the community, will have an impact on schools,” the union said on Monday.

As expected, there have already been positive cases in schools, the union added, warning this could lead to a situation where in a few days, Malta may have schools that do not enough educators to provide services due to circumstances of quarantine or sick leave.

“The MUT stresses that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the schools it has opened have all health and safety measures in place,” the union said.

Earlier the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) also called for tougher action to be taken, criticising an ‘absence of leadership’ as the virus continued to spiral out of control.

MUT said the opening of schools required restraint and enforcement measures in the wider community. Rigid health protocols in schools vanish when students are not at school.

“It is known that measures taken by the government, such as those of social distance, are not being enforced everywhere. This while the other measures, which aim to suppress the spread of the virus, are too few. In addition, there are still too many conflicting directions from the same government exponents,” the union said.

MUT called on the government to send a clear message, take new measures to curb the spread of the virus while stepping up enforcement measures.

It gave government until 15 October, to heed its call. In the meantime it will be announcing a set of directives to protect the health and safety of educators.

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