The government has succeeded in keeping the coronavirus under control with the number of victims not reaching thousands as the experts had originally feared, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday.

Addressing a political activity in Mdina, he said:

“We succeeded to keep the pandemic under control, though certain things could have been handled better,” the prime minister said.

“We worked to keep figures down and so far we succeeded,” he added.

Abela noted that the government also succeeded to keep unemployment down amid concerns it could have risen to 50,000.

“One wrong move at this point in time can spell disaster,” the prime minister warned.

His remarks were made at a time when government was increasingly coming under fire over its handling of the pandemic, as the number of active cases exceeded 1,200.

The increase was the result of successive days during which the number of new cases stood at three-figure digits, with a record number on Saturday when the number of positive cases reached 204.

New restrictive measures were introduced on Friday.

Abela cautioned against being insensitive to the families who had lost their loved ones due to the pandemic, saying people should not be treated like numbers.

Foreigners

The Prime Minister cautioned that hindering the employment of foreign workers would spell disaster for the Maltese economy. One had to distinguish between irregular migrants, EU workers, and third-country nationals, he pointed out,  

While acknowledging that the influx of foreign workers has put the country’s infrastructure under strain, he remarked this was being addressed by opening new schools, roads, social housing and strengthening the IT infrastructure.

Roads infrastructure

Also speaking at the event, Transport Minister Ian Borg announced that in the coming days the prime minister would be inaugurating all of the seven flyovers at the new Marsa junction.

Moreover, the new Santa Luċija tunnels which were originally planned to be constructed after the Marsa junction, would also be inaugurated.

Rule of law

Abela said Malta was setting the example with respect of the rule of law reforms enacted in recent months. Abela lambasted PN MEP Roberta Metsola for adopting “double standards” when it came to Bulgaria, contrary to the harsh criticism levelled against Malta. 

Replying in a tweet, Metsola said the Prime Minister was clueless and utterly dependent on Super One style spin to prop up his lack of leadership qualities.

The prime minister criticised PN leader Bernard Grech for not taking action in this regard saying he was too weak to stamp his authority.

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