The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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Stay home and don’t wait for authorities to announce more restrictions, MAM President urges public

Shona Berger Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 15:26 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) President, Martin Balzan has strongly appealed that the public should be responsible enough to take the situation in their own hands and stay at home, rather than wait for the government or health authorities to announce further restrictive measures. 

The association is also appealing to the government for more restrictive measures as well as for people to truly understand that this is a highly contagious virus and the safest thing to do is to stay at home and not wait for the government to tell the public to stay at home. He said that people should only go out when its essential. 

Speaking to the Malta Independent about a lockdown that seems to be on everyone’s mind in light of the current Covid-19 situation, Balzan explained that “when the United Kingdom experienced very high numbers, the only way they got control of the situation was through a tough lockdown.” 

In the context of Malta, Balzan added that “at this stage we do not have a choice other than the necessary sacrifice which is a lockdown. We need more restrictive measures.” 

This comes following the record-breaking 510 positive cases which were recorded on Wednesday. 

In light of the current covid-19 situation, Balzan said that from the point of view of the health care system, “the number of admissions to hospital and the number of intensive care beds will not be able to cope with this heavy load.” 

“We will have a similar nightmare scenario that was experienced in Lombardy, Italy if we continue with this situation. This means a scenario where patients will be left on ambulances as well as patients needing intensive care but no intensive care available. 

Read more: ‘Doctors now have to choose who will live and who will die’ – MUMN President

Balzan explained that just yesterday the number of daily admissions to hospitals due to Covid—19 stood at 25 to 30 people. This amount is equivalent to filling up a whole ward within the hospital. 

Apart from the limited machines, beds and space to treat Covid-19 patients, Balzan remarked that the major limiting factor is the number of doctors and nurses who are available. As a consequence, other services such as operating services will have to be closed down. This means that resources which are used for ‘minor’ treatments such as non-elective surgery are being taken away for them to be used for controlling the pandemic.   

“Both the number of admissions to hospitals and intensive care beds is currently at critical level, therefore having over 500 cases a day is a situation which we cannot have as this is simply unsustainable”, he added. 

If the situation continues the way it is going, the system will break to the point that patients who need care will not be given the opportunity to receive it as the health care system would be under uncontrollable pressure.


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