Changes in quarantine announced/ Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 29 December 2021

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Changes in quarantine

Vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 will only have to quarantine for 10 days as of Monday, Health Minister Chris Fearne has announced. The reduced period, down from the previous 14-day requirement, will only apply if patients do not display symptoms in the last three days of their isolation period.

Also from Monday, vaccinated persons living in the same household as those in contact with a positive person need not quarantine.

Times of Malta

Dr Clifton Grima sworn in as Education and Sport Minister

Clifton Grima has been officially sworn in as Education and Sport Minister on Wednesday afternoon after being appointed to the post last week, Grima is taking on the portfolio from Justyne Caruana, who resigned on the back of an ethics breach in which she gifted a €15,000 contract to her partner Daniel Bogdanovic. Grima previously served as parliamentary secretary responsible for sport, recreation and voluntary organizations. MaltaToday

More measures required— MAM

As Malta reports record numbers of Covid-19 infections, further measures should be put in place to help health professionals working in Malta’s health system cope with numbers, according to Medical Association of Malta president Martin Balzan.

In an interview with Newsbook.com.mt, Dr Balzan, a consultant respiratory physician, argued that action needed to be taken because the accumulation of patients requiring hospitalisation risked overwhelming the system.

Updated 1240

Covid-19: A new record of 1,337 cases was reported on Thursday while 116 recovered. Active cases have now risen to 8956.

US regulator warns against travel to Malta

The Americal health regulator, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed Malta, “Level 4: Covid-19 Very High category”, advising against travel. The advice was published after a surge in COVID cases, exceeding 1,000 daily cases for the first time yesterday. The CDC considers a country at Level 4 when more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents are registered in the previous 28 days.

Employers concerned as quarantine takes its toll

Employers have expressed concern that various sectors are struggling to operate with thousands of workers in quarantine. Malta Employers Association director general Joe Farrugia said employers had warned the health authorities they needed to act as soon as the numbers started to spike to avoid a situation where thousands of people ended up sick or in quarantine. According to an estimate produced by The Times of Malta some 20,000 persons are currently in quarantine, with other reports quoting figures reaching higher numbers.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry expressed concern that the current 14-day quarantine period for Covid-19 positive cases and their contacts is unsustainable. “The government should reduce isolation to 10 days, and to 7 days for fully vaccinated contacts.”

The Chamber of Commerce also said today it believes that this will motivate more people to take their booster and encourage higher compliance with quarantine periods, at a time when testing, contact tracing and enforcement are stretched to the limits.

Morning Briefing

Credit card firm fined, forced to cease operations

The MFSA has fined a credit card company €142,000 and ordered it to stop the processing of payments and any prefunding of charge cards. The MFSA said Insignia Cards breached various financial and banking institutions rules, namely, failuring to keep proper record keeping arrangements; to properly safeguard clients’ funds; aliging internal documentation with statutory obligations; notifying the MFSA of the outsourcing of operational functions. The firm had already been fined €373,000 by the FIAU for failures relating to money-lauderning reporting obligations. (Maltatoday)

Dr Calvagna in critical condition
Philantropist and cancer specialist Victor Calvagna, one of the founders of Puttinu Cares, is in critical condition after he was hit by a car in Qawra late on Tuesday near the aquarium. Puttinu Cares said Calvagna was in a critical condition. (Times of Malta)

Two of three persons show no Covid symptoms

A new local study found that two out of every three persons in the country infected by Covid did not show ay symptoms. The‘CovPlex’ study analysis was a result of thousands of blood samples taken in recent months. In a comment on the national broadcaster, Professor Christian Scerri explained that the studies were carried out during the period when variant Delta and Alpha were common and therefore the cases of Omicron infections may be even greater in cases of persons who have contracted Omicron but are not aware of it. (TVM.com.mt)

Covid-19 Update

A record 1298 Covid-19 Cases were reported on Tuesday according to the latest date released from the Ministry of Health. There were 82 cases which recovered.

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