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Malta-24 News Briefing – Tuesday 22nd September 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1951 – 24th Covid-19 death in Malta

An 86-year-old man has died while suffering COVID-19, the Health Ministry announced this evening. He was diagnosed with the infection on September 8 but only hospitalised last week.

The man is the 24th victim of the coronavirus pandemic in Malta. In its update, the Health Ministry reported that the man had underlying conditions.

Updated 1700 – News Portal Review

TVM says 38 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Malta over the past 24 hours after 2,409 swab tests were carried out. 678 cases are presently active.

MaltaToday reports Keith Schembri’s lawyers have insisted that the police tell them whether there were any kickbacks, as alleged in the criminal complaint against the former chief of staff to Joseph Muscat.

Times of Malta says Moviment Graffitti on Tuesday called on the Planning Authority to reject an application for a massive development in Xlendi. The proposed eight-storey apartment block will tower over the bay and dwarf the surrounding buildings, the NGO said. 

The Malta Independent reports Prime Minister Robert Abela said today a court decree freezing the assets of former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri is a sign of ‘good governance’.

Newsbook says the Union of Professional Educators Voice of the Workers, UPE is set to take action against the Ministry for Education and Employment, MEDE regarding the re-opening of schools.

Updated 1244

38 new coronavirus cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The new COVID-19 cases were identified from 2,409 swab tests. 

In its daily update, the Health Ministry reported 34 recoveries, taking the tally of active cases up to 678.

Updated 1030 – Bernard Grech’s campaign to be conducted virtually after his wife tests positive to Covid-19

PN leadership candidate Bernard Grech will be stopping all physical campaigning after his wife Anne Marie tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement on Tuesday, Grech said his wife self-isolated as soon as she got to know that a person at the gym she attends tested positive.

She also took the test which came out negative Following the advice of health authorities, his wife remained in isolation and later took another test, which revealed a positive result.

As a result, Grech announced that his campaign will be now conducted virtually.

Updated 0832 – Newspaper Review

The Times leads with a court order to a long list of institutions to freeze all assets held by former chief of staff Keith Schembri and his accountants Brian Tonna and Karl Cini. The order was issued by madam justice Edwina Grima at the request of the Attorney General.

The Independent quotes Archbishop Charles Scicluna in his homily during a mass celebrated to mark Independence Day. The archbishop said that solidarity in the midst of the pandemic means observing measures issued by authorities.

L-Orizzont also quotes the archbishop’s appeal to restrain hate speech against local and foreign people. Archbishop Scicluna said that the Maltese society is built on reciprocal care and called for compassion and reconciliation.

In-Nazzjon says that the Nationalist Party welcomes the court order to freeze the assets of Keith Schembri, Brian Tonna and Karl Cini. In a statement, the party said it expected everyone involved in government corruption to face justice.  

The Independent reports that two people infected with Covid-19 have died on Monday. The Health Ministry announced that a 93-year-old man and an 83-year-old man became the 22nd and the 23rd casualties.

L-Orizzont says that police from the Rapid Intervention Unit arrested four people in connection with a string of thefts reported on Sunday. The suspects were taken into custody and a police investigation has been launched.  

In-Nazzjon says that Malta has now registered eight Covid-related deaths in the last eight days, with a total of 23 victims since the start of the pandemic. The total number of recorded infections stood at 2,985 by Monday.

Morning Briefing

Court freezes assets of former OPM Chief of Staff

Madam Justice Edwina Grima, issued an order to freeze all assets held by Keith Schembri, Chief of Staff of former PM Joseph Muscat, Schembri’s wife and his companies, and Brian Tonna, managing partner of Nexia BT, and other linked partners and businesses.

The attachment order was issued by madam justice Edwina Grima at the request of the attorney general.

The Attorney General’s request came days after the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry into whether the former prime minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, took a €100,000 kickback on passport sales. The same AG had banned the publication of this report.

In a statement, the PN said that PM Robrt Abela, having defended Keith Schembri, must now shoulder responsibility.

Covid-19 Malta

The death tally in Malta continued to rise with two men passing a way yesterday. Two men, aged 93 and 86 respectively, were announced dead yesterday taking the number of Covid-19 casualties to 23.

Fifty people tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours, the Health Department reported, while another 32 patients recovered.

Malta now has 676 active coronavirus cases. The daily bulletin on the Health Ministry’s Facebook page also reported that a total of 1,783 swab tests were taken between Sunday and Monday, bringing up the total to more than 233,000.

CDE News

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