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THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE REPUBLIC OF MALTA.

Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge for the Republic of Malta.  The country’s health system, however, responded well and with strength and resilience.  This is clear from the statistics and from the advise of the World Health Organisation (WHO)[1] which has identified Malta as a model for controlling the Covid-19 Pandemic.

As per Covid-19 Bulletin of the 22nd of April 2020 given by the Superintendent off Health of Malta, Prof. Charmaine Gauci, the virus seems to be well controlled and Malta will start the slow, gradual and structured opening of the social and economic restrictions introduced since mid-February 2020.  This was confirmed by the Minister of Health of Malta, Dr. Chris Fearne[2], who said that restrictions will be relaxed gradually on the strength of scientific evidence.

Just like the rest of the world, the Covid-19 Pandemic threatens the economic activity of Malta.  In view of this, however, the Government of Malta swiftly and efficiently introduced very early in March, a set of measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.  These measures, as explained by the Minister for the Economy Silvio Schembri[3], proved to be a lifeline for thousands of jobs which otherwise would have become redundant. 

The Government rescue package totalled € 3 billion and ranged from minimum salary supplements to interest rate subsidy to differed due tax collections and social security contributions.  These measures were endorsed by the European Commission.

On the economic front, due to the strength and resilience of the economy of Malta, the pandemic according to the International Monetary Fund [4] (IMF) Malta be able to withstand the economic fallout three times better than most EU countries.   The Maltese economy is expected to shrink by 2.8% by the end of 2020 but it is expected to rebound and expand by 7% in 2021[5]


[1]           https://lovinmalta.com/news/chris-fearne-says-who-considered-malta-model-country-in-dealing-with-covid-19/


[2]           https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/covid-19-restrictions-could-be-eased-in-the-coming-days-fearne.787310


[3]           https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-04-17/local-news/Almost-17-000-businesses-apply-for-Covid-19-wage-supplement-77-000-jobs-saved-Silvio-Schembri-6736222168


[4]           https://lovinmalta.com/news/malta-to-withstand-economic-fallout-from-covid-19-three-times-better-than-most-eu-countries-imf-predicts/


[5]   https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2020/04/09/Malta-2020-Article-IV-Consultation-Press-Release-and-Staff-Report-49318