Global Recognition for Malta's COVID - 19 Response

Key Actions during the Global Pandemic

Sean Geeney | 22 Apr 2020

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Why Malta is particularly suited to Battling Coronavirus 

Malta’s track record of uniting in times of crisis to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds earned Malta the George Cross Award for Gallantry, that features proudly on the Maltese flag to this very day. In the World War going on today, Malta has once again risen to the challenge, responding to the Coronavirus with speed and decisiveness visibly absent in even what may be considered as super nations. While in the past Malta’s great victories have been against vast invading forces, the battle against the Coronavirus is a different beast to tackle. It requires unity of thought and purpose, a willingness to put public health first, as well as empathy for the most vulnerable members of society; be it the elderly, those suffering with an underlying condition, or the brave health workers who are on the front line.

WHO praises Malta’s Response

Malta’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic has not gone unnoticed in Europe and beyond. On the 28th of March, the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, wrote that; “Malta is on the right track and an example to follow”. 

Current COVID-19 Statistics for Malta 

As of lunchtime today on the 22nd of April, there have been 444 cases of Coronavirus in Malta, with 3 deaths. However, more than a third of those infected have now recovered, while the infection rate continues to drop. 

The Key Steps Taken; 

Malta took a number of decisive steps early on have help to flatten the curve. 

  • Closing Inbound Flights Early 

On the 18th of March, Maltese authorities announced the suspension of inbound commercial flights as off the 20th March. While this was a difficult decision for country as open and welcoming as Malta, this effectively allowed Malta to temporarily seal itself off and really tackle the Coronavirus pandemic. 

  • Major Focus on Testing 

Malta realised early that comprehensive testing would be needed to come to terms with the scale of the challenge ahead. By opening two additional testing centres on the 26th of March, Malta has consistently ranked in the top ten globally for Coronavirus tests per capita (as per Worldometer). 

  • Limiting Social Interaction by Group Size 

The Maltese love being outside in Spring as the refreshing Mediterranean breeze is particularly cherished as temperatures start to rise. Malta focused on keeping group sizes to three people or less while allowing people to leave the house when necessary and for recreation. This helped prevent “Coronavirus fatigue” as people didn’t feel as trapped or isolated as many of their European counterparts. 

  • Support Payments for those who Lost jobs 

Malta launched a €1.8 Billion financial package which included payments for those who had to self-quarantine and for those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. These measures ensured people were more likely to follow the protocols as a certain level of income was guaranteed. 

Malta as a Destination for Investment in the post-Coronavirus World 

While there is a lot of uncertainty currently, Malta is well placed to bounce back strongly, along with the wider global economy, when the Coronavirus pandemic is behind us. The above actions taken will further increase Malta's appeal as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment as well as individuals seeking residency, second citizenship, property and other business investments.

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