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Malta-24 News Briefing – Monday 28th September 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1745- News Portal Review

The Times says that nurses at the Intensive Therapy Unit and the Oncology Centre will be following union directives as from Wednesday after reporting burnout caused by a shortage of staff. 

MaltaToday reports that some 78 employees from several companies belonging to Keith Schembri have asked the court to unfreeze their wages after their workplaces were hit by an attachment order.

TVM reports that a Valletta FC player has tested positive for Covid-19. The club was informed of the case yesterday.

Newsbook says that former Electoral Commissioner Joseph Church has died. He stepped down from the position in July.

One says Malta has classified 32nd out of 166 countries on action related to sustainable development.

Net says a 55-year-old man had a six month sentencer revoked. He is walking free from all accusations that he threatened his wife.

Updated 1232 – 27 new cases of Covid-19

The Health Ministry reported 27 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, taking the tally on the Maltese Islands above the 3,000 mark.

41 persons have recovered over the same period, lowering the number of active cases to 575.

Updated 1135 – Slight drop in unemployment

Unemployment has gone down slightly in August 2020 to 4.1%, a mere 0.1% below July, but still 0.5% more when compared to August 2019. This was revealed in data published by the NSO today. The number of unemployed person stands at 10,994, with 2,592 of them below the age of 25.
In August 2019, the tally of unemployed persons stood at 9,497.

Updated 1111 – Nexia BT partner arrested

The fourth person arrested by the police least week on suspicion of money laundering was Nexia BT partner Manuel Castagna. This was revealed today by The Times of Malta.

Castagna is Nexia BT’s partner responsible for audits and human resources as well as the firm’s compliance principal.

He had been arrested with Nexia’s partners Brian Tonna and Karl Cini, together with former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri. They have since been released on bail.

Updated 0801: Newspaper Review

The Times reveals that the fourth man arrested on suspicion of money laundering last week was Manuel Castagna, a partner at Nexia BT responsible for audits and HR. Castagna, Keith Schembri, Brian Tonna, and Karl Cini are on police bail while police investigations continue.

In-Nazzjon quotes Education Minister Owen Bonnici who said that it is impossible to say there will not be Covid-19 cases in schools and appealed for the parents’ help to contain the spread by reducing unnecessary contact of children with others.

The Independent quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who announced that the government will extend the Covid-19 wage subsidy beyond the end of October to help the economic sectors worst hit by the pandemic.

L-Orizzont reports that employees of companies owned by Keith Schembri filed a judicial protest demanding their salaries to be paid after the courts ordered a freeze on all transactions. The protest argues that the state must protect workers.

The Independent speaks to Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo who said that a call for tenders for the construction of a pet cemetery will be published within a few months. The minister said a draft call is currently being vetted by the Department of Contracts.

In-Nazzjon says that 54 people have recovered from Covid-19 on Sunday while 21 new cases were registered, bringing down the number of active to 596. The paper says that, with 31 deaths, Malta has the third-worst rate of pandemic-related casualties in Europe.

L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who said that, although he is confident about the safety protocols implemented in schools, parents will be given the option not to send their children to classroom learning.

The Times says that independent schools are disappointed by the last-minister change of plans by the Education Ministry, after weeks of preparations for the agreed return of teachers and students. At least two independent schools said they would stick to their    original dates.

L-Orizzont carries an interview with bullying victim Emma Spiteri who admits that she has considered committing suicide because she found no meaning in life. She says she has now rediscovered its beauty and wants to eliminate bullying in schools.

Morning Briefing

Covid-19: 32nd death in Malta

The Maltese Covid-19 death tally continue to edge up after a 91-year-old woman passed away while being positive for COVID-19.

The Health Ministry said this morning that the woman died at Mater Dei Hospital late on Sunday, 18 days after testing positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, 21 new cases of Covid-19 were announced on Sunday, while 54 patients recovered, the health authorities said. This means that the number of active cases dropped to 590. Thus far, 2,358 people have recovered from the virus, while 31 have died. The total number of virus cases since the pandemic first came to Malta now stands at 2,979.

Government to extend wage supplement

The COVID-19 wage supplement will be extended beyond the end of October and also made available to some other sectors affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday.

Replying to questions on the forthcoming Budget, Abela said he could not say, now, if new vouchers (to boost consumer spending) would be issued by the government. But the system had been very well received.

“I  am not excluding it, I will leave this for the Budget,” Abela told interviewer John Bundy on One Radio.

He insisted the budget will have a strong social dimension that will target pensioners, workers and those falling behind.

Flu vaccination to arrive in Malta

The order for influenza vaccinations which was made by the Ministry of Health has reached Malta, Government announced. In the last three days Air Malta aircraft delivered three deliveries weighing some six tonnes.

Local health experts are pushing for people to get this vaccination, arguing that catching flu and Covid-19 might create additional complications.

CDE News

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