The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Watch: Coronavirus briefing - 38 new cases, total reaches 337

Thursday, 9 April 2020, 12:25 Last update: about 3 months ago

Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said 38 new Coronavirus cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 337.

Of these, 25 are women, including two who are pregnant and a four-year-old girl, and 13 are male, including a boy. 

In the past 24 hours, the number of swab tests carried out was 1,018.

The briefing was carried out a few hours after the first two deaths were registered in Malta - the first was a woman aged 92 and the second was a man aged 79.

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Among the cases mentioned by Gauci, one is of a 31-year-old worker in a food establishment, Antonio Piscopo Wines and Spirits, who tested positive. Gauci said that any clients who could have come in contact with the worker on 6 April, and who experience symptoms, are required to contact 111 for assistance.

The two pregnant women are aged 38 and 30, she said.

While most of the people who tested positive experienced symptoms such as sore throat, fever, gastro-intestinal issues and a runny nose, others did not experience any symptoms. This includes a 51-year-old female care worker in an old people's home. Another case was of a 32-year-old care worker.

Gauci mentioned also the case of a Scan Computers worker who tested positive - he is 19 years old, she said, and the establishment has been disinfected. He is the second staff member to contract the virus, and the store is now closed.

The ages of the infected persons range between four and 75. In many of the cases, a contact tracing exercise is being carried out to see who could have come in contact with the infected persons.

“This is just the start of the curve, and we are seeing that it is slowly climbing upwards,” explained Gauci. She stressed that it is important that the public continues to follow containment measures, even during this Easter weekend. “We must all make a sacrifice, yes this is the time to celebrate with family, but we will celebrate these festivities next year.”

No other patients tested positive at Karin Grech Hospital

When asked whether any other residents at Karin Grech have been tested positive, Gauci explained that so far no other patient have been tested positive. “When we saw that this patient was tested positive, we tested all those who were in contact with her,” explained Gauci.

 “When a patient is tested positive, our clinical team observe and evaluate the patient. From there, it is decided whether the patient needs care at ITU and is in a critical condition, or can be kept at another ward.” So far both patients who passed away where not sent to ITU, and Gauci explained that the clinical team took the decision to not take them to ITU as they were in critical condition before they were tested positive for COVID-19. “In this case, we took the decision that this person was not transferred to ITU as their conditions were critical.”

None of the four foreigners tested positive are from Hal Far

Regarding the four non-Maltese, this newsroom asked whether any are from the Hal Far Open Centre, where currently all migrants living there are under mandatory quarantine. “None of the foreigners tested positive today are from the Hal Far open centre,” explained Gauci. She explained that health care workers who form part of the Red Cross are checking all the migrants, and checking whether they have any symptoms. Gauci added that there are a number of random swab testing taking place at Hal Far, to observe the situation.  

 

Gauci confirmed that a worker at Playmobile was also tested positive, and currently contacting tracing is taking place to see who the worker was in contact with. She explained that the area was disinfected, to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.

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