The Malta Independent 19 April 2021, Monday

Malta's Covid-19 reproduction number down to 0.67 – Vince Marmara

Sunday, 28 March 2021, 07:15 Last update: about 22 days ago

Malta's Covid-19 reproduction number has gone down below 1 and currently stands at 0.67, statistician Vince Marmara told The Malta Independent on Sunday in his weekly video blog.

The reproduction number of the virus is one of the key figures which countries across the world have been trying to reduce ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The aim for countries has been to reduce the ratio to a level of 1 - which means that one person would transmit the virus to one other person.


Marmara noted that there was a "substantial" decrease in daily cases over the past week. The percentage of positive cases compared to the number of swab tests performed has gone down from 5.8% last week to 4.7% this week.

The number of deaths this week - 17 - is on levels similar to those seen over the past three weeks.

Over 2,000 people recovered over the past week. The number of recoveries against new cases was the highest ever this week, Marmara pointed out. In fact, the number of recoveries was almost 100% higher than new cases.

Marmara also noted that the vaccination rate continues to increase. Malta, in fact, has the highest vaccination rate in the EU. "Around 10% of the population has now received both doses while one in every four people has received at least one dose."

These are very positive developments that give hope for an improvement in the Covid-19 situation in Malta, he said.

Considering all these factors, the r-factor is 0.67. "Despite this, we still need to remain vigilant and continue following the guidelines," he warned.

Turning to the situation in Europe, Marmara noted that France and Italy have seen a slight increase in new cases, while Spain and Italy have seen their number remain stable, although the numbers in Italy remain substantially high. Germany is experiencing an increase in new cases.

"We need to remain vigilant, especially now that the Easter holidays are upon us. We cannot repeat past mistakes - on other occasions when we had holidays, people went out and gathered. We cannot risk that again."

Marmara said only a small percentage of the population fail to adhere by the rules, but this always leads to an increase in cases, with the r-factor going above 1. "It is vital that people are careful so that this time will be different and the cases do not increase over the holidays."


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