The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

95% of new Covid-19 cases are of Delta variant as 86% of adults fully vaccinated - Fearne

Albert Galea Thursday, 5 August 2021, 09:55 Last update: about 4 months ago

95% of Malta's Covid-19 cases are of the Delta variant, with the remaining 5% being of the Gamma variant, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference where he gave details about the Covid-19 situation in Malta, Fearne said that 86% of adults are fully vaccinated, while 88% have taken at least one dose of the jab.

68% of children meanwhile have received at least one dose, while 39% of this demographic are fully vaccinated.

Fearne announced that an 88-year-old woman has passed away after being positive for Covid-19 some days ago - hence becoming the country's 424th death related to the virus.

He said that those who are most seriously ill are not vaccinated: 3 out of 4 patients currently receiving treatment in Mater Dei's ITU are not vaccinated and include a pregnant women, while the other is a person with an immunosuppressive condition.

Fearne noted that the last time Malta had around 1,200 active cases of the virus, it had 160 people receiving treatment in various hospitals across the country.  Today, with roughly the same number of active cases, that number is at 35 - something which Fearne said shows the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine on reducing the possibility of serious illness.

Giving details about the origin of recent cases, Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci noted that the tightening of restrictions on travel - where now anyone who is not vaccinated has to face a 14-day quarantine period - had left its mark on the case numbers, noting that prior to this restriction some 60% of all cases were in people coming from abroad.

Today, the number is down to 20% - keeping in mind that this includes people who must quarantine regardless of where they are coming from because they are not vaccinated yet.

Asked by The Malta Independent on how many of recent Covid-19 cases were fully vaccinated, Gauci said that an analysis on the whole month of July - which when cases peaked in this latest wave - had shown an incidence rate of the virus which was much lower in vaccinated people when compared to the unvaccinated.

She said that while the incidence rate of cases in those who are unvaccinated was of 587 per 100,000 people; that same incidence rate stood at 94 per 100,000 people for those who are fully vaccinated.

Fearne said that the current circumstances mean that no further restrictions will be added; instead, the situation is leading the government to ease the restrictions further.

Fearne in fact announced that the mandatory quarantine period for those who are fully vaccinated will - save for some exceptions - be reduced from 14 to 7 days, and also gave details about a booster shot which will be rolled out in mid-September.

He also announced an increase in capacity for seated events which will come into force from 16 August - but stopped short of allowing standing events to take place.


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