The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

TMID Editorial: Coronavirus - New measures were needed

Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 08:37 Last update: about 3 months ago

The new measures taken by the government to shut down non-essential shops and non-essential services were very much needed, despite the ramblings of some arguing against such a move.

The fact that people were still going to beauty salons and hairdressers during this particular time was, to say the very least, irresponsible or shows just how uninformed some people are.

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Such salons require very close contact between people and should definitely be avoided as more cases of coronavirus arise.

Now many beauticians and hair salons had opted to close days ago, as had other non-essential shops, such as jewellers. But some remained open, and this was risky, as it could have spread the virus.

From a business perspective, the businesses that closed are losing all their revenue, and their owners as well as employees have mouths to feed. The government should ensure that they are adequately supported.

The government has also taken the decision to ban public gatherings. This was done to prevent many from going out on group picnics and the like. To be honest, this decision should probably have been taken sooner.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday that Malta needs to pass through a period of sacrifice, and he is absolutely right.

Now is not the time to be in groups, or picnicking with friends. It is a boring task and one that requires people to stay indoors as much as possible, true, but it is needed.

The sooner this virus passes, the sooner we can begin to move towards returning to our normal lives.

At the same time, if a portion of the Maltese population take the selfish ‘I don’t care’ route, then that is going to prolong everyone’s suffering.

The measures being taken are for the public’s safety, and we all must keep in mind the healthcare workers, who are performing their duties admirably on the frontline. The fewer patients they have, the better they can manage their resources. So let’s help them out a bit, and obey the instructions being issued by the government and the recommendations being made by the health department.

In addition, those people who are still working outside, take the necessary precautions. If feeling unwell, contact a health professional immediately and, if need be, get tested for the virus. The best way to contain the spread is to identify everyone who has contracted the virus and the people they have come into contact with.

If this isn’t done, then containment is not possible.

There are other simple things people could do to help the situation. Obviously, people need to shop for food and medicine. If when doing so you find a packed supermarket, just move on to another one, or if people are waiting in line outside a pharmacy, keep your distance from other customers.

The health authorities have also advocated frequent hand-washing, which should be followed.

If outside, observe social distancing recommendations.

 

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