Prime Minister, Health Minister attend session of hospital’s COVID-19 response team

Robert Abela and Chris Fearne attend Mater Dei Hospital’s COVID-19 response group meeting of professionals and heads of departments

Robert Abela and Chris Fearne attended a session of Mater Dei Hospital's COVID-19 Incident Command Group
Robert Abela and Chris Fearne attended a session of Mater Dei Hospital's COVID-19 Incident Command Group

Mater Dei Hospital’s COVID-19 special response team had an unlikely visitor on Monday when the Prime Minister sat in for a session of the group meeting.

Robert Abela and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne attended a session of the COVID-19 Incident Command Group. The media was not invited for the event.

A Department of Information statement said the group was set up last February and is made up of various professionals, doctors and consultants to provide an immediate evaluation of the situation in hospital.

Representatives from different hospital departments try to anticipate needs and adapt accordingly.

The government statement said Abela and Fearne later visited the Pathology Department where laboratory tests are performed. This department is dealing with COVID-19 testing and all other tests done as part of the ordinary functioning of the health service.

Abela thanked the laboratory workers for their dedication.

Fearne used the occasion to reiterate the importance of following the guidance of the health authorities so that hospitals will be able to continue offering excellent service.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister said Malta was in a far more advantageous situation compared to other countries in Europe that are experiencing lockdowns. "Once all this is over and our performance is judged, they will find that we worked wisely to protect lives and jobs," he said as he called for vigilence.

Abela added that until a COVID-19 vaccine is available sacrifices had to be made to ensure protection against the coronavirus. "It is important that we remain a society of solidarity and unity... When finalised, the vaccine will arrive in a country that did not need to go into lockdown because we made clinical and specific decisions that worked," Abela said.

In line with the global trend, Malta experienced an increase of COVID-19 infections over the past three months that prompted the health authorities to increase preventive measures such as the closure of bars and social clubs for a month until 1 December, and the obligatory wearing of face masks in public places.

When asked whether the ban on bars will be lifted in December, Fearne said last week that the assessment was ongoing and it was too early to decide yet if the restrictions should be lifted.