The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

Passenger arriving from Bergamo tested for Coronavirus; no cases so far

Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 14:00 Last update: about 6 months ago

Two passengers who arrived in Malta from Bergamo had shown symptoms of fever and were believed to be tested for Coronavirus, Martin Balzan, President of Malta Medical Association (MAM) said, however, a health ministry official said that only one person from the flight had the case definition to be tested, and tested negative.

Speaking to The Malta Independent earlier, Martin Balzan, President of Malta Medical Association (MAM) said that now is the time to take action. “The current situation should be ringing alarm bells and that business is not as usual,” said Balzan.

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On Tuesday morning news broke out that an Italian tourist from Bergamo on vacation in Palermo was tested positive for the virus, being the first case found in Sicily.

MAM has flagged its concerns to the health authorities after seven people have died from the virus in Italy in recent days.

“There is currently a daily flight to Bergamo, which is just 10km away from the Lombardy region, which is at the centre of an outbreak of the virus,” explained Balzan, “and we need to take immediate action; either suspend the flights or ensure all passengers from Bergamo are tested for the Coronavirus.”

He said that the daily flight to Bergamo is posing a risk, and it is important to tackle such a risk immediately.

 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has now spread to various countries. At this point, there are no COVID-19 cases in Malta.

In view of the current situation, the Health Authorities are expanding their surveillance to cover a wider area of travel to affected areas. 

People who have fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of visiting the following countries:

  1. China
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Singapore
  4. Japan
  5. Iran
  6. South Korea
  7. Northern part of Italy - Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna

should contact their family doctor and the Health Authorities on 21324086. They are advised to refrain  from visiting  health centres or the casualty department in the first instance. 

The Health Authorities are also advising people to avoid nonessential travel to the listed affected areas. People returning from these areas are being asked to self-quarantine  for 14 days. 

The general public are reminded to take the necessary precautions for prevention of respiratory infections:

Clean: Clean hands often by washing with soap and water or using alcohol hand rub.

Contain: Contain germs by staying at home if unwell; do not go to work or school until one is better. Do not visit patients in hospital if you are sick.

Cover: Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze into bare hands. Bin used tissues immediately. Do not leave tissues running around.

Do not sneeze or cough into your hands as you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.

 

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