Malta-24 News Briefing Monday 3rd August 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Updated 1621 – Education Department launches new syllabus implementation plan, factors in possibility of remote schooling

The Education Department has published a new syllabus implementation plan to take into consideration to possible failure to re-open schools after the summer holidays. So far, Education Minister Owen Bonnici has publicly committed himself to re-opening classrooms on 28th September, describing it as a normal school day. However, such comments were made previous to the recent escalation in cases.

The guidelines include three scenarios, including a full re-opening of schools, an alternating system were reduced number of students attend every day, and the possibility of remote schooling being the only feasible option.

Updated 1245 – 14 new cases of coronavirus

14 new cases of coronavirus in Malta has taken the tally to one just short of 200. Eight of these cases were related to known clusters, while the rest were sporadic.

A total of 1,438 swabs were taken in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Government has closed the door to Maltese visitors, while Lithuanian citizens and residents will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

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Updated 0805 – Newspaper Review

The Times reports that a close associate of former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi, David Galea, had been tasked with preparing Enemalta officials to answer questions about the Electrogas deal by the parliamentary public accounts committee.

The Independent speaks to PN Secretary General Francis Zammit Dimech who said that the party’s leadership election is expected to be held in the first half of September to have the elected leader appointed by Independence Day.

L-Orizzont says that, although several people have been touted to run for the PN leadership role, Adrian Delia is the one to confirm his interest so far. There Comodini Cachia said she wants to remain a catalyst in the party.

In-Nazzjon says two men have been arrested in connection with the Mqabba shooting last week. One of them is the brother of Saviour Gaffarena, who was killed in the attack, who is facing charges for carrying an unlicensed firearm.

The Independent says that the police turned down questions about the NAO’s report about the deal between the government and Vitals. An investigation and a magisterial inquiry into the case are still ongoing,

The Times speaks to the president of the doctors’ association, Martin Balzan, who warned that the rise in coronavirus cases may be higher than reported because of long waiting lists for swab tests.

L-Orizzont says that the arts and culture sector is among the worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Professionals in creative industries told the paper that there is a lack of employment standards in the sector to protect them from the economic fallout.

In-Nazzjon reports that a 42-year-old man from St Paul’s Bay lost his life in Comino after finding himself in difficulty in Santa Marija Bay. Paramedics were on site to offer first aid but the man was certified dead by the time he was taken to the Gozo General Hospital.

L-Orizzont reports progress between the General Workers Union and the Water Services Corporation following a conciliatory meeting between the two sides held by the Department of Industrial Relations on Friday.

Morning Briefing

Coronavirus in Malta

The Times of Malta reports in print this morning that the number of new COVID-19 cases could be even higher than reported because of long waiting lists for testing. Quoting Dr Martin Balzan, who heads the doctors’ association, the paper reports that patients, even those with novel coronavirus symptoms, who called to book a swab test on
August 1 were given appointments for August 12.

In feedback obtained by the Health Minister on the above, it is reported that swabbing staff is expected to be doubled over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health said yesterday that there were 15 new Coronavirus cases reported in Malta. The total number of active cases is 185. Two of the cases were imported, 4 were related to the feast of St. Venera and 2 to the cluster of the party in Paceville. The other cases were sporadic. In its announcement, the Ministry announced that the majority of the cases did not go to work when they felt the symptoms, however contact tracing is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the MUT has threatened Government that schools will not re-open in September if the necessary health protocols are not prepared.

Swimmer dies in Comino

A 42-year old man died after experiencing difficulties while swimming in the vicinity of Santa Marija Caves, Comino.

After receiving first aid by the Emergency Response and Rescue Corps, he was transferred to Mġarr where he received further attention by medics from the Gozo General Hospital, but had already lost his life by then.

Further migrant arrivals

Government has confirmed that a group of 71 migrants were picked up by the Armed Forces of Malta on Sunday afternoon and brought to Malta.

According to Reuters, they disembarked in Senglea harbour.

Immigration police and health officers were onsite, wearing personal protective equipment as the migrants were brought in.

CDE News

 

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