PN goes to Court on PBS “political propoganda” / Malta News Briefing – Saturday 5 February 2022

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PN goes to Court on PBS “political propoganda”

The Nationalist Party has taken legal action against PBS – and Minister Carmelo Abela, who bears responsibility for broadcasting for what it described as political bias and propoganda on the national tv channel. Agius said the PN had decided to take its battle to court after suffering months of political imbalance, particularly in news coverage on PBS: “People are being bombarded with propaganda from the Labour administration, with the Opposition’s message either completely disregarded or else hidden away at the end of news bulletins,” Agius said. Secretary-General Michael Piccinino said that the public’s fundamental rights were being ignored every time the state broadcaster gave unbalanced news coverage. (Times of Malta)

Covid-19 Update

Covid-19 claimed five more lives in the last 24 hours, with two women aged 84 and 87, and three men aged 80, 83 and 86, passing away while Covid positive.
The number of people who died since the beginning of the pandemic in Malta now stands at 565.
In Saturday’s update, the health authorities said that 195 new cases were found. With 310 recoveries, the number of active cases currently stands at 2,555.

Morning Briefing

Covid-19: Quarantine requirements shortened in new wave of restrictions-easing

Malta took a step closer to normality with Health Minister Chris Fearne announcing that the four household gathering rule will be scrapped from Monday. Important changes were also announced with regard to quarantine requirements, as primary Contacts who have taken the booster, will be required to quarantine for only five days if they return a negative test. Children between 5-11, who are fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine for five days after this date. As from 1st April, standing weddings will be allowed to 300 instead of the current 100.
Important changes were also related with regard to travel, with fully vaccinated children aged 5-11 no longer needing PCR testing to travel.
Fearne said these changes were possible because of declining active cases, stable hospitalisations and with close to 80% of the population being fully vaccinated. (Times of Malta/Maltatoday)

Diplomatic staff in rare industrial action

Members of the diplomatic service have registered an industrial dispute, during which they will not be using electronic means of communication. They are lamenting the issuance of a call which could see unqualified individuals take on diplomat posts. The UHM, representing them, said that this step was taken in the wake of an expression of interest issued by the same Ministry which is in breach of the sectoral agreement. Under this call, a pool of employees would be created among public officials wanting to perform the duties of attaché.
“The sectoral agreement strictly regulates the recruitment process of members within the diplomatic corps and forbids unqualified personnel to perform such duties. Consequently, this call sets a precedent as it undermines the diplomatic service which is crucial in Malta’s foreign relations and is a threat to the prospects of career diplomats”, the UHM said. (The Malta Independent)

Covid-19 Update: A 78-year-old man has died while COVID positive, while 214 persons tested positive overnight. 280 have recovered, lowering the active case tally to 2,675. Of these, 98 people are in hospital, five of whom in ITU. The man becomes Malta’s 560th Covid-19 victim.

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