The Malta Association of Public Health Medicine notes the impending planned stopover of the MSC Opera. According to media reports, a tourist was diagnosed with COVID-19, following disembarkation from the MSC Opera on 28th February.
Public Health authorities have repeatedly stated that close contacts of any person confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are to be put under mandatory quarantine. Furthermore, all symptomatic contacts are to be tested.
Should the MSC Opera dock in Malta, it would have to be put under mandatory quarantine until the elapse of 14 days from the 28th February. Maltese authorities would have to test any passenger or crew member who becomes symptomatic in the meantime. It thus seems logical not to allow the ship to dock in Malta. Reports that the Superintendent of Public Health’s decision to this effect has been overruled are worrying. MAPHM fully supports the Superintendent of Public Health’s decision to stop this cruise liner from docking.
The Public Health authorities need to be given full discretion in deciding what is best for the safety and public health of persons in Malta.