Opposition and Nationalist Party Leader Bernard Grech said on Friday that the health and lives of people should never be compromised at the expense of the economy in our country.
Speaking in parliament on Friday, PN Leader Grech said that the government lacked any vision, and that “our vision as a Nationalist Party is to put every human being at the centre of how we govern, unlike the Labour Party who opts to place their friends and individuals with a criminal background at the centre of it all.”
With regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, Grech said that “we as politicians, as Maltese and Gozitans, feel very troubled by every Covid-19 death which has happened in recent months.”
He added that “when it comes to the Covid-19 situation, when we know that more can be done, when we know how long ago various associations, organisations and professionals have repeatedly told the government to take this situation more seriously, then not only do we feel sad but also angry,” Grech said.
“I don’t want to imagine what the people who have unfortunately lost someone due to the virus, are going through right now.”
Grech remarked that we should never belittle the deaths caused by Covid-19 by blaming their deaths on any underlying conditions they may have.
“We are in a country where we should put the money where it is needed in order to make sure that each and every one of us is given the best possible care in our hospitals, in an manner which does not discriminate, no matter where the person comes from and regardless of the contacts the person has.”
He made reference to the continuous remark made by Prime Minister Robert Abela regarding the importance of creating the balance between health and the economy in our country.
“The PN is a party which wants to see this country have a strong economy but when it comes to the health and lives of people we cannot and should never compromise.”
Speaking about employment in the country, Grech highlighted that due to Covid, a lot of workers are working three or four days a week. This means that there are those who have lost half or a quarter of their wage, thus leading them to difficult to live a decent life. There are also those people who can hardly pay their home loans anymore or take care of their family.
He added that this shows that the government is pretending to help the economy of this country and is neglecting the health of its people.
With regards to the three homes for elderly people which have been hit by outbreaks of Covid-19, he said that although this virus cannot be controlled as it is not taken at the whim of someone or because someone wants to, the reality is that the government is ignoring the medical advice that is being given to them.
“Today the situation is in such a tragic state. It is already bad enough for a person to experience and be sick with the Covid-19 virus, let alone being locked inside a nursing home for months without having any physical contact with their loved ones since last March.”
He added that the problem is that these senior citizens are not only vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 because of their underlying conditions, but they are also affected by the virus because it is forcing to remain confined in their rooms all alone.
“We need to take this situation seriously so that these elderly people do not die without having been given the opportunity to live the last few moments of their lives in a decent manner,” he said.