Professionals call for health-economic balance
The MFPA, the professional sector trade body, said in a statement that a strong economy requires a healthy workforce. Therefore, now that the country has moved to a second phase in the handling of the crisis, it called on the competent authorities to ensure that initiatives to relaunch the economy are not introduced prematurely and do not counteract the successful public health initiatives implemented to date. A continuous risk assessment will ensure this.
In its statement, the MFPA said that the Government must ensure adequate control and enforcement systems to monitor the economic activities it is re-introducing, while keeping in mind the good practices within infection control measures introduced by the Superintendence of Public Health in trying to keep the numbers of infected persons to a manageable number.
Horizon reports that the Maltese Authorities and the Superintendent of Public Health, has extended the passenger travel ban to and from Malta until 15th June.
The earlier restriction, which was issued on the 23rd of April via a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen), stated that the ban imposed was until 31st May 2359UTC.
Nine new cases of coronavirus in Malta were registered yesterday from a total of 1,727 tests, taking the country’s total to 609. One of these workers is employed at one of the swabbing centres around the island. The Authorities said that the worker most likely got infected in the community and that there was no risk to those persons testing themselves.
Four persons have recovered during the same timeframe, meaning that the number of active cases has now gone up to 130. 473 persons have recovered, with six people losing their life.
The economic vs health diatribe remained the main item on the agenda for Malta’s opinion leaders and the army of social media commentators, throughout Friday, the first day during which outlets such restaurants, cafeterias as well as barbering, hairdressing and nail salons were allowed to re-open. A few outlets proudly showed their new compliance certificate, but so far there have been little indications of business activity around the island. It is likely that this evening and tomorrow lunch time will give a first such indication. The Malta Tourism Authority said that 157 outlets had requested the compliance certificate in time to open Friday.
Yesterday, Professor Charmaine Gauci, the Health Superintendent, tried to re-assure the public.
“In introducing the measures, we have been careful in assessing them, through a risk assessment and through the implementation of the necessary mitigation measures”.
She defined the measures being implemented as from today as carrying a “medium risk”. Having said that, Gauci instead that caution was required as the virus was still in the community. The country has now reached a total of 600 coronavirus cases.
In its daily bulletin, the DOI said that the eighth process of social benefit payments for those persons whose employment was affected by Covid-19 was made, with a total expenditure so far of €9.2 million. So far, 10,692 applications have been received, of which 99% have been processed. So far, 7,821 applications have been paid. Among those who have been paid are 5,891 who received parental benefits, medical or disability benefits, or unemployment benefits. There were 488 other persons who stopped their benefits because they returned to work.
Two persons were yesterday caught flouting their quarantine obligation, being fined 3,000 euro.