Church, independent schools call for public health expert Kenneth Grech to be reinstated

The Secretariat for Catholic Education that is responsible for Church schools says public health official Kenneth Grech offered valid advice on whether or not to reopen schools physically • The Independent Schools Association shows solidarity with Grech 

Public health consultant Kenneth Grech is understood to have advised schools to postpone reopening just after the holidays
Public health consultant Kenneth Grech is understood to have advised schools to postpone reopening just after the holidays

Church schools have called for consultant Kenneth Grech to “immediately” be reinstated as head of the COVID-19 response team as the weigh in on the controversy.

The Secretariat for Catholic Education said it was dismayed by reports of Grech’s redeployment by government.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Grech, in his official capacity and along with his colleagues, has given very valid advice when considering whether or not to physically welcome students, educators and staff in schools. Grech has been rendering a sterling service as coordinator of the COVID-19 team and always sought to safeguard public health,” the secretariat said.

Grech, a public health consultant who recommended caution on schools reopening in the wake of a post-holiday spike in coronavirus infections, was redeployed by the government over the weekend.

'Disappointment and concern' at Grech's redeployment - ISA

The Independent Schools Association (ISA) said it was concerned and disappointed by the reports of Grech's redeployment over the weekend. "Grech has worked tirelessly as co-ordinator of the COVID-19 Team and has been instrumental in the fight against the COVID-19 virus," ISA said. 

ISA reiterated the need for independent "unbiased" medical opinion which informed the public debate. The association expressed solidarity with Grech and appealed for the government to revise its decision.  

The decision to remove Grech was also condemned by various unions, Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech and the NGO Republika. The Medical Association of Malta will be holding an emergency council meeting this evening to discuss the matter.

READ MORE: Bernard Grech blames Prime Minister's 'arrogance' for dismissal of COVID expert

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