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93 new Covid-19 cases take tally to 881 – Malta-24 News Briefing – Tuesday 13 October 2020

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Updated 1722- Covid-19 Update

Times of Malta reports that Malta has no plans to make changes to its two-week quarantine rules unless advised otherwise by the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Newsbook reports Hunters and trappers are once again being granted with privileges on completely wrong premises and this is unacceptable, said Birdlife Malta during a press conference in front of Castille.

MaltaToday reports that Malta’s overcrowding rate continued to rise in 2019, standing at 3.7% of the population (estimated at  just over 17,600) living in private households, up from 3.4% in 2018, a new EU-SILC report shows

TVM reports that in recent months, the Customs Department seized no less than 23 containers at the Free Port, which it said were each carrying a ‘power boat’.

Updated 1231 – Covid-19 Update

Health authorities reported 93 new cases of coronavirus in Malta over the past 24 hours. With 31 persons recovering, the number of active cases has reached 881.

From yesterday’s cases, the authorities said that the majority of cases identified related to family members of previous infected patients.

Updated 1133 – 44th death registered

A 71-year-old man who passed away at Mater Dei Hospital is being considered as having died due to COVID-19, the Health Ministry said, despite testing negative in the past few days.

However, because of the symptoms he displayed, and considering that the man had initially tested positive, this death is being classified as being Covid-related, and is the 44th death to be considered as such since the onset of the pandemic.

Updated 1054 – Trade Union Forum calls for more restrictive measures

The FORUM group of trade unions joined calls by doctors’ and teachers’ associations in calling on Government to introduce further restrictive measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Malta.

Among the proposed measures, Forum called for the ightening of border controls – requiring all entrants to be tested before or at entry or be required to stay in quarantine; strict enforcement of mask-wearing anywhere indoors and outdoors wherever people are congregated and further reduction of the maximum number of people that can congregate in a group;

The Unions also want a re-emphasis on remote working particularly in cases of high-risk employees and wherever possible coupled with a strong educational campaign to make sure everyone is aware and understands the need for these measures.

Updated 0923 – Newspaper Review

The Times speaks to Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia about the agreement signed on Friday between the government and the hunters’ federation. The Minister said he understands the concern of those opposing the deal and promised more public spaces.

The Independent reports that the nurses’ union has withdrawn all directives after declaring that its demands over benefits were met. On Saturday, the union instructed members not to administer the influenza vaccine.

L-Orizzont quotes Health Minister Chris Fearne who said that new evidence suggests that quarantine may be reduced from 14 days to seven day in certain cases. The minister said Malta is following advice by the European Centre of Disease Control.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech who said that students deserve the best quality of education from the primary to the tertiary level. Grech was meeting representatives from the University Students Council.

The Times reveals that Malta sent its final report to the Council of Europe’s Moneyval last week. The body will assess the changes implemented since the last test and give the results to the international Financial Action Task Force.

The Independent asks the Education Ministry about concerns raised by the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability. The Ministry said that an evaluation will be conducted to ensure that all students have access to educational services during the pandemic.

L-Orizzont reports that the two eligible candidates to fill the parliamentary seat vacated by Joseph Muscat have declined the offer, paving the way for the Labour Party to co-opt MEP Miriam Dalli to the House.

In-Nazzjon says that the teachers’ union is appealing to the government to enforce safety protocols in schools. The union is giving an ultimatum until Thursday for ‘concrete’ measures to be implemented before it issues directives to educators.

L-Orizzont follows a meeting between Prime Minister Robert Abela and the Hotels Association ahead of the budget. The Prime Minister said that faster Covid-19 testing at the airport will be crucial.

In-Nazzjon reports on the death of a 67-year-old from the coronavirus on Monday. The paper says that the recent wave of the virus is piling pressure on the health system, with over 500 cases registered in the last seven days.

Updated 0659 – Moneyval report submitted

Times of Malta reports that Government has sent its final progress report to Moneyval experts in a bid to avoid being placed on a grey list of countries that pose a high-risk of financial crime.

The report was sent to the Council of Europe’s experts on October 5, and includes the legislative changes implemented by the country after it failed an assessment of its anti-money laundering regime. 

It is understood that MoneyVal will now assess Malta’s efforts and give its verdict to the global body, the Financial Action Task Force, which fights money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 

Morning Briefing

PM says better enforcement on Covid-19 measures is needed

Enforcement of COVID-19 containment measures must increase, PM Robert Abela said yesterday evening.

Speaking during a meeting with the MHRA, the hotels and restaurant lobby group, Dr Abela said better enforcement was required so that the country comes out of the current difficult period.

“This doesn’t mean that we are going to choke any particular sector. On the contrary, additional enforcement will allow us to keep sectors open and successfully overcome this period,” Abela said, adding that citizens had to act responsibly and abide by public health rules.

Abela also raised the issue of the use of more passenger screening at the airport, insisting that closing it down is not a solution.

“It is crucial that we introduce rapid testing as well as increasing the number of tests carried out on people arriving to the country,” Abela insisted during the meeting.

Yesterday, a number of organisations, including doctors’ and teachers’ unions, called for more restrictive measures in view of the increasing number of cases.

68 new cases take tally above 800

68 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the past 24 hours, while 14 persons have recovered. For the first time, the number of active cases has gone up to 820.

Miriam Dalli touted to replace Muscat in Parliament

A number of media outlets have reported that MEP Miriam Dalli is expected to leave Brussels and be co-opted in the Maltese parliament to take up the seat vacated by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Both candidates that could have submitted their nominations for a place in Parliament through a casual election, Stefan Buontempo and Mark Causon have cited personal reasons for refusing to take part in the race.

CDE News

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