Advocacy Infectious Diseases Press Statement

Open Letter to Prime Minister Abela

Dear Prime Minister,

This letter is in reaction to your televised statements on ONE this morning.

It is very clear that your announcement today of the premature lifting of measures was a unilateral decision, contrary to all sound and evidence-based advice offered over the past weeks and certainly contrary to the advice of the Superintendence of Public Health. The public health authorities have consistently explained how only a gradual lifting of restrictive measures would safely transition the country to a new normal. Allowing three weeks to pass between each progressive step to observe the effects and adjust accordingly was, and remains, the only way to ensure that we do not end up right back where we started, or worse. A comprehensive risk assessment was prepared by the public health authorities to guide the transition process and easing of measures. Unfortunately, the transition strategy and risk assessment has not yet been published by Government.

The public health authorities’ expert advice on controlling the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak locally was heeded in February and March. It is only thanks to this collective effort and the sacrifice of the public and front liners that we are in the comfortable position we find ourselves in. Ignoring this advice halfway through the transition risks undoing all the hard work and the sacrifices that the country has made over the past months and will ruin the peace of mind that is necessary to restart business and tourism.

Furthermore, we are shocked by your comment about giving an amnesty to people who risked the lives of others and were fined for not following the law. The long term, negative impacts of such an amnesty are incalculable. You are compromising the health of the public and undermining the effectiveness of all fiscal deterrents that may need to be put in place in the future for the common good. Waiving it all away would be populist, short-sighted, and irresponsible. Apart from this, for all the ‘wrongfully’ charged persons there is a petition process, so there is no need for a carte blanche amnesty for everyone, which you are in no position to give as Prime Minister. Dear Prime Minister, you are morally obliged to follow the scientific and professional advice that is being offered by the public health authorities. Publish the strategy and risk assessment that you quote to show us that you are following this advice. COVID-19 is not behind us. COVID will remain an important aspect of our lives for months to come. We and other healthcare professionals will continue working hard to protect the health of the public while placing the common good first and foremost This is the leadership we expect from you as our Prime Minister.

Featured Image:  Scott Graham on Unsplash

7 comments

  1. By waiving the fines procured by individuals who broke quarantine laws or social distancing the PM has opened a veritable Pandora’s box. From now on any person fined for any misdemeanor, whatever the nature, will be able to contest such fine and, refuse, quite rightly to refuse paying up.

  2. This is a big let done, an insult to our public health specialists, an insult to Dr Graeme, an insult to the police who did their duty thoroughly, a risk to all our healthcare workers. Shame! He who defies all good advice and science is committed to sink our boat. Same leaders rule. Just as his predecessor. Taking dangerous decisions for the population.

  3. Dear Prime Minister. The country is grateful for the hard work you and your ministers have done thus far in managing the pandemic-gaining praise and respect from around the world. However, this has required the law abiding citizens to make sacrifices. The measures that were put in place were not requests; they were laws with consequences that were clearly understood. I urge you to change your mind regarding a fines amnesty, based on the strength of feeling of your people as I believe it will be difficult to gain compliance when trying to put measures in place in the future if a second wave were to arrive in Autumn.
    With respect
    Maureen McHenry

  4. Dear Prime Minister, the amnesty that you are giving to those who broke the lockdown rules during this current epidemic is a massive slap in the face and disrespect to parents like myself could not see their children and grandchildren for two months. As a parent I always thought my children there are Consequences to every action taken good or bad. That is how children are thought discipline and the true meaning of the word RESPECT.

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