The doctors' association is pausing all its directives for a week starting Saturday while it continues to expect "decisive action" by the government.

In a statement on Saturday morning, the Medical Association of Malta said "all the consequences it had foreseen and publicly warned about are now materialising".

"The Santa Maria feast which normally commemorates the end of World War 2 siege by the Malta convoy, may now be associated with our darkest hour as air travel is seriously limited in the COVID-19 crisis.

"The pressure by the MHRA on the Malta Tourism Authority and the government has led to misguided decisions and disastrous consequences on the Tourist industry and public health alike," MAM president Martin Balzan said in the statement.

Most EU countries have shown us the red card by practically issuing Malta a “formal certificate of incompetence”, he said. 

Doctors called industrial action after claiming the government was not taking the necessary decisions, including a full ban on mass events, to stop the spread of COVID-19. New cases have spiked in recent weeks, with record numbers recorded over the past week. 

The government has insisted the situation remains under control. 

"Opening the airport to high risk countries with no precautions whatsoever, the promotion of the delusion that the war is over and the completely irrational decision to actively promote mass events to irresponsible revellers created a lethal poisoned cocktail which the Maltese people will find very hard to swallow," Balzan said. 

Coronavirus numbers are "steadily rising" with frontline health staff risking their own health because of "miscalculated decisions essentially based on a mixture of greed, false expectations and disregard of logical scientific advice", he said. 

"Effective public health measures aiming to reduce the COVID-19 numbers in as short a time frame as possible are necessary. There is no place for partying, for discos, or clubbing in the thick of such an epidemic, when very sick people are presenting to Mater Dei.

"All events of more then ten people are the root cause of our problem and must be stopped immediately," he said. 

If the country is to avoid a lockdown, strict social distancing and widespread wearing of masks with very strict enforcement, preferably by the Police, is necessary, the doctors said.

"The Maltese people have shown great discipline from March to May, and government decisions must be based of the successful experience of that period."

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