The Maltese need to be careful not to undo the sacrifices of the past few months to control COVID-19, the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine warned on Tuesday.

In a statement, it said that as the figures of the last few days showed, there is still a sustained spread of COVID-19 within the community.

“It is a simple and sad fact that the pandemic is not over. There are dozens of countries where the number of new cases was low for weeks like in Malta, and they are now in a full-blown second wave which is worse than the first, or quickly getting there,” the association said.

The MAPHM’s statement followed another by 10 medical organisations on Monday calling for the immediate prohibition of mass events in view of the recent spike of COVID-19 cases. 

The association said it was unfair that the irresponsible behaviour of the few, enabled by the government’s inaction to adequately regulate or completely ban high-risk activities, put the health and livelihood of the rest of the people in danger.

“All we can do as responsible citizens to safeguard our health and that of the vulnerable in our families and in society is to avoid those activities which are unessential and during which coronavirus transmission is more likely.”

The association urged the public not to participate in activities that put them and their loved ones at risk. These included parties, feasts, and any other activity where they might be surrounded by many people in close proximity

“The best thing to do is to stay away from all activities and places where people are not made to wear masks or are not keeping a safe distance from each other.”

Key principles to be followed when out of home, the association said, were keeping a physical distance of at least two metres, meticulous and regular hand hygiene using soap and water or a hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol for 30 seconds, and the use of masks and/or visors when carrying out activities within the community.

In a separate statement, the Kamra tal-Ispizjara called on the authorities to reconsider the present position on the holding of all forms of mass events, especially those where it was not possible to ensure the effective monitoring of safeguards. 

It said it shared the declared concerns of scientific and professional organisations and reiterated their calls for halting of mass events.

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