Malta’s Association of Catering Establishments, while expressing caution at the current spike in COVID-19 positive cases the country is experiencing, topping 7,000 active cases, on Wednesday said it is more concerned about recent claims made by the nurses’ union that Mater Dei Hospital is in a desperate situation because of the sheer number of COVID patients.

On Monday, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses called on local health authorities to reduce the number of elective surgeries, warning staff cannot keep up with the increase in the number of COVID cases at Mater Dei hospital.

While the local health department has stopped publishing daily COVID figures on its social media page, data shows that on Tuesday, Malta registered 719 new cases in the preceding 24 hours, with the number of active clocking in at 7,573.

Despite the ongoing spike, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne poured cold water on claims of a “desperate” situation at the national hospital.

“There was a time when we had 40 COVID-19 cases in ITU and we were managing to keep things under control then. Right now, there are four cases in ITU,” Fearne said on ONE TV’s Pjazza on Monday evening.

ACE also welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister Fearne’s announcement that several COVID-19 measures will be eased as part of a process which will lead us to normality. The ACE said it believes that this is the best way forward keeping in mind the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the industry at large over the past years and keeping in mind the promising tourism figures forecasted for this summer. 

“Whilst the ACE continues to stress on the need for caution by the general public so as to avoid another spike in COVID-19 cases, it also calls for common sense to prevail thus avoiding unnecessary alarms which will only serve to damage the catering industry, other sectors and the country at large.”

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