Only half of January Covid-19 deaths were fully vaccinated persons – health expert / Malta News Briefing – Friday 28 January 2022

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Times of Malta says Moviment Graffitti has flagged a 125-apartment development in Sannat as an example of what it says is “deceitful scheming” by developers intended to bypass Planning Authority rules.

MaltaToday says that tempers flared in the courtroom on Friday afternoon, as lawyers defending Vince Muscat clashed with a prosecutor over whether or not convicted bank robber Daren Debono could legally be allowed to testify against Muscat in criminal proceedings about that same bank robbery, as he is currently interdicted for perjury.

Newsbook says that disturbing footage has emerged of a group of students beating up a girl outside a yet unnamed school in Malta.

TVM says that Fr David Muscat was arraigned under summons in Court this morning and charged with hate speech through comments on Facebook.

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Only half of January Covid-19 deaths were fully vaccinated persons – health expert: A top medical official said that half of the patients whose death was specifically attributed to Covid-19 were not fully vaccinated. Speaking to The Times of Malta, Tanya Mellilo, a public health consultant, said that from 56 people who died during the first three weeks of 2022 while Covid-19 positive, in 37 cases the virus was the key factor which contributed to their death. The others had other major complications, with Covid potentially weakening them further. However, she noted how only 19 persons were fully vaccinated at the time of their death. In consideration that a significant majority of Maltese are fully vaccination, such numbers made it all too evident that lives were being saved through the vaccination programme, the consultant said.

Parliament approves Budget 2022: Parliament has approved the financial budget for this year, with Government pushing through the bills of every Ministry in record time. The second reading, which in previous years had taken up to a number of weeks, was rushed through in a couple of sittings. The third and final reading, a formality, is planned for next week. With PM Robert Abela suggesting towards the end of last year that the country would not go to an election before the Budget is approved, speculation of an imminent general election continued to increase in the past hours.

Covid-19 Update: 229 new cases were reported on Friday, while 575 recovered, health authorities said. During the last 24 hours, three other Covid-19 related deaths were reported, bringing the death tally to 544. 105 persons are currently hospitalised, five of whom in ITU.

Morning Briefing

Labour shoots down PN’s good governance bill

Labour has voted against the PN’s anti-corruption Bill, with Government Whip Glenn Bedingfield explaining that the government side would be voting against the Bill because of how all 11 different laws had been bundled together into one and rushed through in Parliament. Addressing Parliament in his speech, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that Malta is more democratic than ever before today owing to the system of checks and balances that the Labour government has introduced. Opposition leader Bernard Grech argued that “a vote against these bills is a vote against the future of our country and history will judge us on the decisions we take today.” [The Malta Independent]

EC praises Malta’s vaccination plan

European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakidou poured praise on Malta’s running of its COVID-19 vaccination programme, while thanking the country for its excellent cooperation during the pandemic. She was speaking after visiting the oncology hospital and the vaccination centre at the University of Malta, where she spoke with several children and adults present to receive the vaccine. Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, Chris Fearne told the Commissioner that so far, 98% of the Maltese population is double vaccinated, while 76% of Malta’s adults have taken the booster dose. He explained that due to high inoculation rates, the country has been able to loosen restrictions. [Newsbook.com.mt]

Konrad Mizzi continues to avoid PAC responses

Former Labour Minister Konrad Mizzi once again regused to answer any questions about his role in a controversial power station deal during a parliamentary hearing. He insisted that he would not be answering queries pending a ruling by Speaker Anglu Farrugia. Mizzi complained that PN MPs Beppe Fenech Adami and Karol Aquilina were making unfounded allegations and sought the Speaker’s protection. All members of PAC, while asking freely and objectively on the report, should be cautious that they follow the rules and guidelines that apply,” the speaker said. [Times of Malta]

Covid-19 update: A total of 230 new COVID-19 cases were registered, as another three people died while positive with the virus. The victims are two men, aged 70 and 81, and a 90-year-old woman. There were 590 new recoveries and 120 people are hospitalised, 7 of whom are in the ITU.

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