The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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Updated: Six new Covid-19 cases found and only 12 patients in hospital for observation

Bettina Borg Friday, 21 May 2021, 12:34 Last update: about 4 years ago

Six new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Friday, 10 people have recovered, while no new deaths were recorded the last 14 days, health authorities said. 

The number of active cases currently stands at just 96.

2,018 swab tests were carried out on Thursday, taking the total number up to 906,618 so far.

Meanwhile, 453,711 doses of the vaccine have been administered so far.  296,548 of those were first doses, while 164,113 people are now fully vaccinated.

Malta has had 30,497 cases of the virus.  29,984 of those have recovered, while 417 have died.

Gauci said the authorities were pleased with the vaccination process and this is giving very good results. 95% of the 60+ are vaccinated: over 50 years there are 75%; over 40 there are 69% vaccinated while over 30 years of age there are 55% already vaccined with the first jab. This week the over 16-year-olds started to register and out of those registered 24% have already received one dose. Gauci encouraged more persons to register so that vaccination will continue to be a success.

The 7-day moving average is at three cases and the current positivity rate is 0.1%.

The total number of persons in hospitals is 12 . At Mater Dei ITU there are 4 patients who are all recovered but still under observation. There are also some patients at the Infectious Disease unit, at Gozo General Hospital and only 2 at Boffa Hospital.

There were again no cases in old peoples' homes.

Gauci said that only one case was registered in schools and 10 cases were imported. The average age for this week's patients was 32 years.

She insisted that everyone should get tested if Covid-19 symptoms are felt. All testing hubs are still open to give the free service. 101,271 persons have now downloaded the COVID app and this is very useful if persons will start to go abroad.

Gauci reminded the general public of the relaxation measures that will happen on Monday 24 May like restaurants to open till midnight, pool and gyms to open also. Day care centres will also open. No events are allowed, also in pools or pool areas.

Taking questions from this newsroom, Gauci noted that groups of tourists coming to Malta which exceed four or six people must adhere to the limit of households allowed outside. Four households are allowed in public together at the moment, and will rise to six households as of 7 June.

Asked if Malta will be providing a hygiene travel kit to tourists arriving in Malta, much like the kit Portugal is handing out to incoming tourists with masks, sanitizer and a sheet with mitigation measures, Gauci said that the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) will ensure tourists what measures are in place in Malta when they travel to the island.

Moving on to questions from other media houses, Gauci responded to the statements made by Valletta Cultural Agency chairman Jason Micallef regarding the halting of open air cultural events and Malta’s noticeable lack of mass events. She said that mass events are of high risk and will be one of the last measures to be relaxed.

“Now is not the time to hold mass events”, she said.

She clarified that health authorities have planned the relaxation of measures until the end of June, and thus it is not definite if open air cultural events will be halted until September, as Micallef had noted. The situation will be monitored closely and measures will be relaxed accordingly, she said.

There are currently five cases of the South African variant and 27 cases of the Brazilian variant in Malta. No cases of the Indian variant are currently active on the island.

DJs have been banned from restaurants and hotels, Gauci said, in order that “restaurants are not mixed with discotheques”. If music is played in a restaurant, it must be played at low volume to ensure that people do not raise their voices and contribute to the spread of the virus through the transmission of moisture.

DJs, however, will still be allowed to perform at weddings.

Asked if the United Kingdom should be placed on Malta’s red list due to the surge of the Indian variant in the nation, Gauci assured that the situation is being followed closely and any necessary travel restrictions will be made.

She said that the Pfizer vaccine has passed the clinical trials and can safely be given to 12- 15 year olds, however an application from the European Medicine Agency (EMA) must be approved before the vaccine is given the green light in Europe.

Once the application receives a positive outcome, Malta will distribute the vaccine to 12 to 15 year olds.

“The more we have age groups that are protected the better”, Gauci said.

 

She noted that Malta is prepared for students in this age group to be vaccinated by the time the scholastic year re-starts in September.

Follow Gauci’s briefing, live, below:

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