The country will come out of this situation shortly if everyone acts responsibly – PM
Prime Minister Robert Abela has described the situation in the country in light of the Coronavirus as calm and under control, and put the people’s minds at rest that the country is prepared, although he expressed confidence that with everyone’s cooperation and responsible behaviour, the country will come out of this situation within a short time.
Interviewed on ONE TV, Dr Abela explained that there is already a partial lockdown in the country in various sectors, adding that certain tough measures which had been implemented, including mandatory quarantine for everyone arriving in Malta, have been taken on the advice of the health authorities in order to avoid as much as possible a lockdown with all the consequences this would entail.
Dr Abela stated that this moment is defining why the people are being responsible, and certainly shows that We is greater than I. The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the public’s cooperation and reiterated that in instances where this cooperation was lacking, the forces of law and order had stepped in and taken the necessary action.
Dr Abela further stated that whilst precautions, as recommended by the health authorities, should continue to be taken, we should put aside fear. The Prime Minister said the Government is acting on the advice of the health authorities and is being pro-active, which is why drastic measures have been taken, including mandatory quarantine and other measures which have practically led to a partial lockdown through the shutting down of schools, the Courts and the tourist industry, among others.
The Prime Minister argued against populist calls, including by the Opposition leader, for a complete lockdown. Dr Abela stated that even with the advice of the health authorities, such action is not necessary at this stage, and hopefully, the country will not need it. The Prime Minister further explained that the measures which have been implemented, and which are being effective, have been taken in order to delay and ideally, avoid the need for a complete lockdown. This because, Dr Abela added, such a step would result in great hardship for the people. The Prime Minister further stated that some are calling for lockdown without realising a partial lockdown is already in place as a result of measures being taken. The Prime Minister added that if the health authorities advise for lockdown, the Government is ready to press the button for this step, but it is not prepared to take this decision at random in order to be populist, further stating that the number of cases so far is on the low side, and there has not been any local transmission of the virus.
The Prime Minister said Government is not being stingy with regard to all resources required in the health sector, and also with the first assistance package for businesses. Dr Abela added that everyone has to shoulder a part of the burden in this situation. The Prime Minister said he is hopeful the country will emerge from this situation shortly, and will again give a push to the economic sectors to recover from these temporary difficulties and move forward.