The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

Re-opening of economic activity should be 'very gradual', large parties 'last to open' - MAM

Tuesday, 6 April 2021, 07:28 Last update: about 8 days ago

The Medical Association of Malta said today that the re-opening of economic activity should be very gradual and that large parties should be the last to be allowed when restrictions are eased. 

In a statement, MAM said the current practice of free for all boarding on commercial flights, with random swabbing on arrival is clearly insufficient and presents significant risks as positive individuals not only can board the aircraft without a test, but may spread the virus to other passengers at airports and especially on board the aircraft. The current practice of “board now – check later” presents very significant risk to public health and tourism alike once the number of flights increases.

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Prior swab tests or authenticatable vaccine certificates should be introduced before boarding onto an aircraft, so as to guard against new variants of concern. Unfortunately, should a new variant be imported because of inadequate preventative measures the whole vaccination process may have to restart from scratch? This would have major implications for the economy as well, MAM said.

Any re-opening of economic activity should be very gradual and accompanied with close monitoring and adjusted as necessary, based on sound scientific evidence. Such a gradual process would allow remedial action to be taken promptly and effectively should numbers rise again.

MAM cautioned against any easing of restrictions at events where social distancing is difficult or unrealistic before Malta reaches herd immunity. This is likely to be achieved not before 70% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Unfortunately the Malta Tourism Authority once again seems to be planning large commercial parties once again, MAM said. These events should be the very last to open and as much as possible after the protective effects of vaccines on such events has been scientifically demonstrated. As the British variant is much more contagious than the previous virus, just one event could lead to hundreds of new cases in a few days. This is to be avoided at all costs, MAM concluded.

 

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