The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Covid-19: Only one positive case found in the last 24 hours; vaccine boosters already ordered

Jake Aquilina Friday, 14 May 2021, 12:30 Last update: about 2 months ago

Only one new case of Covid-19 was found overnight and no deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours.

More details were being given by Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci during her weekly briefing.

The number of active cases is now 180 and the total number of cases so far is 30,474.

There were no deaths in the last 24 hours related to COVID-19. The death toll now stands at 417

There were 10 recoveries, for a total of 29,877.

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2017 swab tests were performed over the past 24 hours, for a total of 893,092 so far.

The authorities said that, until Thursday, 406,921 doses of the vaccine had been administered, of which 133,332 are fully vaccined. 276,041 had their first jab.

Professor Gauci said that this positive scenario is thanks to all the people taking their vaccines and the successful roll-out. She encourages more people to register and take their vaccine. As from Monday all persons who are over 16 years of age can register for the vaccine. 

We have arrived at a point were the cases are very low and the 7-day moving average is 6. 

At Mater Dei ITU there are 4 persons, 13 in other wards and at Gozo General hospital there are 3 patients. There are no cases at St. Thomas Hospital, at the Good Samaritan, at Karin Grech and at Mount Carmel.

Another positive point highlighted by Gauci is that for the second week there were no positive cases in elderly homes.

The majority of cases, 23 cases, were imported. Most cases are between 20 and 24 years of age. This week two persons one from Italy and one from Bulgaria were found positive at the airport or at port.

Health Authorities still urge everyone to still go for testing if any symptoms are felt.

The positivity rate is only at 0.3% out of all tests.

Prevention measures are still be observed. This is still crucial and not to be ignored.

Professor Gauci insisted that everyone needs to download the COVID alert app as this is inter-operable and can be used abroad as well.

It is still not the time to forget the pandemic and everyone should still take all preventive measures to safeguard each other.

Answering questions regarding traditional Maltese feasts and mass events, Gauci said that it is not the time to hold them. "We are still in a pandemic. So we are not in a position to allow mass activities to take place [...] unless we have the situation under control."

Gauci said that even though Malta is bound to reach herd immunity in a few days time, the country is still bound to abide by the mitigation measures as was announced.

Given that the highest cluster this week came from imported cases, with 23 cases, Gauci noted that people arriving in Malta are taking the test as they arrive. If there are people who refuse, they would need to quarantine, she remarked.

"We know the nature of this virus; this virus can surface up to 14 days after exposure because of the incubation period, so these people could have symptoms after they arrive in the country even though they had a negative test before arriving," she said.

The Health Superintendent remarked that the Indian variant is more transmissible, similar to the UK and Brazilian variants of the virus.

Regarding mask wearing, Gauci said that this measure is still in place. "We will start relaxing this measure when science indicates we are able to. But for now, it is important to wear masks," she said.

In terms of vaccine immunity, Gauci remarked that research is still ongoing in terms of how long the immunity last, but Malta has enough boosters ordered, she reassured.

In terms of the vaccinations for 16- to 17-year-olds, they will be receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Up till now, Malta has had 5 cases of the South African variant, 22 of the Brazilian variant, and no cases of the Indian variant. 


 

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