During a press conference held yesterday, the Minister for Health, Dr. Chris Fearne, together with the Superintendent of Public Health Profs. Charmaine Gauci, announced new public health measures which will come into force on Saturday 28th March 2020.
In an effort to control the outbreak of the Coronavirus and protect the persons most vulnerable, the Minister ordered a lockdown for all those persons aged over 65, pregnant women and others who suffer from medical conditions.
Those under 65 years of age who are:
- Insulin dependent diabetics;
- Taking any Biologic medicine;
- Cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy in the last 6 months;
- Immunosuppressed patients;
- Patients undergoing dialysis;
- Pregnant women;
- Patients with respiratory problems (who have been hospitalised for such problems during the last year);
- Patients with Cardiac problems (who have been hospitalised for such problems during the last 6 months);
- Patients who have attended the Heart Failure Clinic;
- Patients on Oral Steroids.
The Minister informed the public that those who fall under the above-mentioned category shall be receiving a notification by post informing them of such measures.
Those who are still in employment and fall under the above-mentioned category shall no go to work and be given quarantine leave.
There are few exceptions to the aforementioned lockdown, such as that the elderly and pregnant women will still be allowed to attend to their medical appointments. However, all those persons living with persons falling under the category of lockdown shall either put themselves in isolation or else find elsewhere to live for the time being.
During the Press Conference, the Minister also noted that there were people who, amidst the ban on organised public activities, were still gathering in public. He said that even though this was not as such an organised public activity, such people were still posing a risk of spreading the disease. Consequently, Dr. Fearne announced that the Police shall be dispersing groups of five people or more.
Profs. Charmaine Gauci is empowered to issue exemptions to the above wherever she deems necessary. Therefore, if any of the abovementioned persons need to leave their home, they must inform and obtain the permission of the Superintendent for Public Health.