The Malta Independent 24 September 2020, Thursday

Covid-19: Situation is ‘completely under control’, Prime Minister says

Shona Berger Monday, 3 August 2020, 19:51 Last update: about 3 months ago

The number of Coronavirus cases increased mainly because a number of immigrants were rescued, Prime Minister Robert Abela said. He was being interviewed on One TV. 

Speaking about the Coronavirus pandemic, Abela remarked that, “almost half of the people who are positive for COVID-19 are migrants who are not in the community but are being kept in isolation. This was done to safeguard the lives of Maltese and Gozitan citizens.”

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He added that, “although there are some who seem to be rejoicing that the numbers have increased, we must remain prudent, vigilant and follow the advice given by the Health Authorities, without raising any extra alarm or panic.”

“It is important to highlight the fact that the majority of people who are infected are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms,” he continued.

Abela then stressed the importance of finding a balance between health and the economy, stating that the situation is completely under control.

He added that, “since we do not have a vaccine just yet, we need to learn how to live with this situation, however, the necessary decisions will be taken because people’s health remains a priority.”

Asked on the immigration crisis, PM Abela remarked that, “there is no complete solution to this problem.”

He said that “this is not a problem we are facing for the first time, however, this year it is felt more because of COVID-19 in our country.”

PM Abela recalled when, in the midst of the pandemic, he went to Libya to address this problem before, and that “I, the Brigadier, and the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Malta ended up under investigation after stopping a number of immigrants from entering.”

“We have done a lot of work to address this sensitive problem, but we have a lot more to do.”

Abela further explained the difficult decision he sometimes would face, even in the middle of the night, where we would have to decide to either let people drown and be responsible for their death, or to rescue them.”

“Although I understand how people are feeling and what they are saying regarding this matter, I ask the public to understand that saving lives should be the decision we take in these extraordinary circumstances because this is not a problem I can completely solve,” he said.

The presenter of the program moved on to say that, in the past few months, Abela has faced a number of challenges, including the global pandemic and the immigration crisis. 

In response, Abela remarked that no matter what happens, the Government will be there to address and solve the problem. The difficult moments that the government has already faced, goes to show how resilient and strong it is.”

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