Charmaine Gauci has dismissed rumours that she resigned or was thinking of resigning from her role as Superintendent of Public Health.
Over the last day, rumours have been circulating that Gauci, who has become a household name in recent months for her daily updates on the COVID-19 situation, had resigned.
Prime Minister Robert Abela dismissed the speculation early on Thursday as "fake news" saying it was part of a campaign against her "mounted by a few".
Later in the afternoon Gauci, who has been leading Malta's battle against coronavirus, said on Facebook that the country was at a "crossroads" and the rumors that she resigned, or that she was about to resign were "a total invention".
"The medical profession is inspired by vocation. Like any vocation, work requires sacrifices, dedication and love for what you are doing, because you know that what you are doing is influencing your life and what you are, she said.
"I have the privilege to serve my country and you in difficult and unpredictable circumstances. We are at a crossroads and I will continue to play an important role with full responsibility and loyalty as I have always done."
Gauci added that the cooperation of the public and the respect from the authorities "no matter what environment they come from", has been crucial so that together with her team and professionals she could do her job with the "utmost dedication, impartiality and professionalism. And I will continue to do so".
Sources have told Times of Malta about a potential rift between the Office of the Prime Minister and the health authorities over the lockdown measures.
It is understood the prime minister has been under intense pressure from businesses to relax more measures, despite the health authorities' advice to adopt a more cautious approach.
In a tweet on Thursday afternoon, moments after the health authorities confirmed 15 new coronavirus cases, Abela dismissed the claims as "petty rumours".
"The campaign mounted by a few against the Superintendent of Public Health has reached new levels with fake news implying her resignation. I am sure that petty rumours will only strengthen the sterling work by Charmaine Gauci towards our country's normality."
The Prime Minister's comments came just moments after healthcare workers united to ask the government to reconsider re-opening restaurants and hairdressers on Friday.
They fear that Malta is in a second wave of infections.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister dismissed the notion of a second wave, saying waves were only found at sea.
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