S’issa għad ma waslniex

L-aġġornament tal-lum dwar l-imxija tal-pandemija Covid-19 jikkonferma li għad ma wasalniex. Illum ġew identifikati 8 każijiet ġodda. Dan wara li nhar il-Ħadd ma ġie identifikat l-ebda każ. Dakinnhar ilkoll ħadna pjaċir.

Hu neċessarju li nibqgħu nosservaw l-istruzzjonijiet tas-Supretendent tas-Saħħa Pubblika u nżommu d-distanza minn ħaddieħor jekk ikollna bżonn noħorġu għall-ħtiġijiet bażiċi.

Ċertament li mhux żmien il-picnics jew xi BBQ f’postijiet pubbliċi.

Issa li ġej tmiem il-ġimgħa twil (1 ta’ Mejju nhar il-Ġimgħa) u b’temp sabiħ, it-tentazzjoni għall-ħruġ fil-kampanja jew għal xi għawma, wieħed jifhimhom. Jeħtieġ li nibqgħu nagħmlu sagrifiċċju u noqgħodu lura mill-ħruġ li mhux neċessarju. Huwa b’hekk biss li nistgħu nżommu l-virus tal-Covid-19 milli jixtered.

S’issa kważi wasalna. Biex naslu jiddependi minn kulħadd.

Huwa ta’ sodisfazzjon li l-faċilitajiet tas-saħħa pubblika ħadmu tajjeb. Prosit u grazzi.

Huwa ukoll ta’ sodisfazzjon li s’issa ġew salvati l-parti l-kbira tal-impiegi. Dan qed isir riżultat ta’ sens ta’ responsabbiltà tan-negozji u l-industrija flimkien ma għajnuna finanzjarja da parti tal-Gvern. L-għajnuna, ovvjament qatt ma hi biżżejjed.
Matul il-ġimgħat li ġejjin hemm il-possibilità li jibdew jonqsu l-miżuri restrittivi. Huwa mportanti li nsegwu l-istruzzjonijiet tal-awtoritàjiet tas-saħħa li qed jieħdu l-prewkazzjonijiet kollha neċessarji fl-interess tagħna lkoll.

Il-Covid-19 u l-privatezza tagħna lkoll

Bħalma nagħmel kważi kuljum, iktar kmieni smajt il-konferenza stampa li taġġornana b’dak li qed jiġri dwar il-pandemija Covid-19.

Hi aħbar tajba li illum ma kien hemm ħadd li irriżulta pożittiv għall-Covid-19. Għalkemm kif emfasizza Chris Fearne is-sitwazzjoni tista’ tkun differenti tul il-ġranet li ġejjin, dan xorta hu punt importanti. Mertu kbir lill-awtoritajiet tas-saħħa li ħadmu ħafna u li ippreparaw ruħhom sewwa biex jistgħu jagħtu l-aħjar servizz lill-pajjiż.

Nirrikonoxxi ukoll l-impenn ta’ Chris Fearne Ministru tas-Saħħa li kien kapaċi jimmotiva lill-istaff mediku u paramediku tal-pajjiż biex jagħtu l-aħjar possibli. Grazzi.

Fil-konferenza tal-aħbarijiet tal-lum il-Ministru tas-Saħħa emfasizza ukoll li mhux ser tinħareġ l-ebda app għall-contact tracing. Napprezza li l-Gvern (għall-inqas s’issa) qiegħed attent dwar issues ta’ privatezza.

Ma nifhimx kif dan il-punt importanti ma ġiex rappurtat mill-gazzetti ewlenin ħlief mill-Malta Today li irrapporta hekk:
“In the coming days, a new app will be launched which will allow users to gauge any symptoms they may be expriencing and advise them on their risk of having been infected and whether they should get tested.
Fearne said that this would be an app to help with determining whether a person should be tested, not be a contact-tracing app. Malta, he underlined, was not yet ready to introduce a contact-tracing app, since various privacy concerns with such applications had not yet been conclusively addressed.”

Alternattiva Demokratika temfasizza li huwa importanti li l-privatezza tkun imħarsa. Huwa tajjeb li l-Gvern dan qiegħed attent għal dan ukoll.

Il-bieraħ AD ħarġet stqarrija importanti dwar dan is-suġġett u emfasizzajna li ħadd ma għandu japprofitta ruħu minn din il-pandemija biex jipperikola l-privatezza tagħna lkoll.

Il-pubbliku b’mod ġenerali qiegħed jikkoopera. Dan ikompli juri li ma hemm l-ebda ħtieġa ta’ miżuri drastiċi. Huwa neċessarju li dejjem inżommu sens ta’ proporzjon fil-miżuri li jittieħdu. Huwa tajjeb li s’issa dan is-sens ta’ proporzjon inżamm. Dan jawgura tajjeb.

Għalhekk ukoll qed naslu!

Grazzi.

 

Wara l-Coronavirus ?

Il-pajjiż issa kważi wieqaf, riżultat tal-Coronavirus.

L-egħluq tad-diversi attivitajiet sar b’mod gradwali u responsabbli. F’ċirkustanzi bħal dawn, kif inhu naturali, ikun hemm diversi fehmiet dwar dik li hi l-aħjar triq. L-argument hu jekk l-egħluq parzjali kienx biżżejjed inkella jekk hux il-każ ta’ egħluq totali.

Jiena naħseb li l-Gvern għamel sewwa li mexa bi strateġija ċara li bħala l-ewwel pass jieħu l-miżuri kollha neċessarji biex il-virus ma jixteridx. Wara jvarja fil-miżuri skond ma jirriżulta meħtieġ.

Il-fatt li sal-ħin li qed nikteb hemm biss 21 każ, (kollha importati), u l-ebda mewt, hu prova li l-passi li ittieħdu, għalissa, huma effettivi.

Ma’ dawn il-21 każ iridu jiżdiedu dawk li qegħdin fi kwarantina u li eventwalment uħud minnhom jistgħu jirriżultaw posittivi. Dan ikun ifisser kemm kien għaqli l-pass ta’ kwarantina preventive biex il-virus ma jixteridtx.

Id-diffikulta hawnhekk qegħda biss dwar jekk iddaħħalx fi kwarantina kull min kellu jiddaħħal. Probabbilment li għalhekk ġie deċiż li kull min jirritorna Malta minn barra jeħtieġu joqgħod għal kwarantina obbligatorja.

S’issa nistgħu ngħidu li t-team fid-Dipartiment tas-Saħħa ħadem tajjeb u li ippjana sewwa u b’reqqa. Grazzi.

Hi sitwazzjoni diffiċli għal kulhadd, iżda tgħaddi ukoll. Imma warajha ser tħalli herba, kullimkien. Kif jgħaddi l-Coronavirus forsi nifhmu lil-pajjiż hu ta’ kulħadd dejjem, u mhux biss fi żmien ta’ kriżi.

Next Thursday’s earthquake

earthquake

 

This will be a simulation exercise coordinated by Malta’s Civil Protection Department at 4pm next Thursday in Gozo and three hundred people will be involved.

It will be carried out with EU assistance and in conjunction with the Civil Protection Authorities in Sicily who are partners with the Maltese Civil Protection Department (CPD) in establishing a network within the region that is able to manage seismological disasters.

This exercise signals the coming of age of Malta’s CPD. It has to date delivered sterling service in the areas of fire-fighting, managing pollution and providing assistance required as a result of flooding after heavy storms. Training its staff, and subjecting them to a gruelling simulation exercise, is a gigantic step forward for the CPD. It is the first step of a long journey that is dependent on the dedication of the CPD staff  – which is unlimited – as well as the resources allocated by the state. Such resources, although limited over the years, seem to be slowly trickling down, for a change.

Developing the CPD’s ability to handle disasters will be a major challenge. For a start it will identify its capability to develop effective coordination with the Police Force, with the AFM (Armed Forces) and the health authorities as well as with local councils.

At the end of the day the CPD’s proficiency in disaster management will be measured in terms of its response time as well as the number of lives it saves in such situations. This will generally depend on the severity of the disaster with which it is faced.

This will not only translate into a general level of preparedness. It will also require focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities and in this respect the role of local councils is indispensable. Specific protocols need to be developed and tested in conjunction with local councils regarding the assistance required by children and those who are bedridded or disabled. Catering for all disabilities is an indispensible prerequisite and it requires trained personnel to which the CPD currently has no access. It is an easily identifiable deficiency which needs to be addressed forthwith.

One small example would suffice: how would the CPD personnel, the police, the AFM – or the health authorities for that matter – communicate with persons with  impaired hearing in the absence of staff able to communicate in sign language? Addressing this deficiency is required not just to ensure that Malta is adequately prepared for disaster management. It is also an everyday deficiency that every authority in Malta that offers a direct service to the population at large needs to address. With around five hundred known Maltese with impaired hearing and a number of others who may have remained below the radar, this is an issue which is manageable primarily at a local level. Yet to date it has not been adequately prioritised.

In this context, one would also need to query the level of preparedness of institutions such as Mount Carmel Hospital and id-Dar tal-Providenza. I am informed that even when it comes to fire drills in residential homes for the elderly, the results were not impressive, to put it mildly.

Prompt and effective coordination between the different authorities is crucial in ensuring disaster management. There is a need to test how the different types of equipment used by the CPD, the Police and the AFM interact. Are they compatible? The planned simulation exercise is an opportunity to identify whether, in an actual practice run, matters will work out as planned. Lessons learned in this area will have to be translated into better procurement procedures in the future to ensure smooth interaction between the CPD, the police and the Army.

This will translate into compatible communication equipment as well as adequately maintained vehicles, sea craft and aeroplanes/helicopters which can be used in difficult circumstances. Knowing that maintenance of equipment has never been our forte, this could be quite a challenge!

The simulation exercise on Gozo on 3 September will necessarily lead to a number of lessons learnt which will have to be acted upon in order that Malta’s capability in disaster management is enhanced. This is definitely a bold step in the right direction.

I look forward to the next steps which require the involvement of local authorities.

Published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 30 August 2015