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Live Update: Covid-19 Bulletin Malta – Saturday 16th May 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Update 2145

 

Six Spaniards were arrested on Friday evening after attacking police officers who approached them to inform them that they were breaking Coronavirus measures which establish that people cannot stay in groups of more than four in public places.

The owner of the bar in Spinola Square, St Julian’s, where the Spaniards were drinking will also be fined, the police said in a statement, reported by The Malta Independent. 

Updated 2045

Malta’s nurses’ union has appealed against the opening of any form of tourism this summer, as the government prepares to announce the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

In a statement, the Malta Union of Nurses and Midwives (MUMN) said opening a tourist season would be “purely a political measure from an economic perspective which can have huge repercussions on the lives of all those living on the Maltese islands”. The Times of Malta  reports.

The union said the move would be a “blunder” that could “break” the healthcare system and cost several lives. “A few thousand of tourists who can arrive to Malta this summer would not resolve the ailing economy but will just act as a catalyst for the

 

Updated 1239

Prof Charmaine Gauci said that the authorities are increasing testing substantially. Yesterday a record 1,727 tests were carried out, resulting in the 14 cases already indicated below.

The total number of cases has gone up to 546.

Nine of the new patients had shown no symptoms. Four were healthcare workers.

Questioned about the rise in cases, Prof Gauci said  that the transmission rate (RT) after the easing of restrictions, on average, remained under 1. Gauci skirted questions about the re-opening of the airport, following the announcement by the Tourism Minister, adding that such decisions will be taken at the right time after the appropriate assessment of the situation.

Updated 1159

PN says economic decisions should be taken on Prof Gauci’s advice

PN Leader Adrian Delia said that the Opposition placed its full trust in Health Superintendent Prof Charmaine Gauci on the easing of restrictive measures. Delia said that once Gauci confirms that there are no risks to public health, decisions can then be taken.

Speaking on Net Television, the PN Leader said that while Gauci and Minister Chris Fearne appeared to be largely on the same wavelength, the same could not be said of Prime Minister Robert Abela, who gave the impression that health and the economy were at loggerheads.

Updated 1130

Fearne appeals for caution in opening up of economy

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne today appealed for caution and for the resumption of economic activity saying there was a risk that if the economy opens up for Summer, the country could end having to “close” for Winter. Fearne lauded the authorities’ actions before and after the onset of the crisis, but said that the current transition period was complex as crucial decisions had to be taken.  Speaking on 103 Radio, he said that Government was seeking a balance between economic and health needs.

Questioned about flights, Fearne warned that a spike in cases could dether tourists from coming to Malta.

Updated 1045

The Health Ministry announced through a Facebook post that there were 14 new cases of coronavirus in Malta during the past 24 hours. Two persons have since recovered, meaning the number of active cases has gone up to 90.

 

___

Two weeks after the Prime Minister’s decision to kick-off the easing of social restrictions, further decisions are widely expected during this weekend. Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli fuelled this anticipation yesterday, stating on Facebook that new decisions concerning the ‘opening up of further economic sectors’ will be announced by Monday.  Her post hinted that the next range of measures will also include catering establishments and the possibility of opening up specific travel routes to a number of countries. More on this story, here.

Ten new cases of coronavirus in Malta were announced yesterday, from a record of 1,500 tests carried out during the previous 24 hours. The total number of infections has reached 532. Of the new cases, only one is related to a person previously identified as positive. The other are sporadic cases identified in the community. Half of these new patients had experienced no symptoms.

Five persons have since recovered, meaning that the number of active cases stands at 78.

There are currently 16 persons who requiring hospitalisation, but none in intensive care.

Five persons fined

Five persons were each fined €100 during the continuous rounds Police are conducting to ensure that no gatherings in public places involving more than four persons take place, as per the legal notice issued by Government. In the meantime, no one was found breaching obligatory quarantine during any of the 408 inspections carried out in the
last 24 hours.

CDE News

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