Riskiest restrictions lifted – Prof Gauci / Malta News Briefing – Monday 14 June 2021

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Riskiest restrictions lifted Prof Gauci: Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci insisted that case numbers need to remain low for authorities to continue with the gradual re-opening of the economy. Interviewed on TVAM this morning, Gauci explained that the most recent restrictions to be lifted were the most risky. She explained that it was important to keep numbers low so that the entities that have already opened can continue to operate. While urging the public and all stakeholders to follow the rules, Gauci said that activities were re-opened in a responsible and controlled way so that people have things to do and places to go.

90 migrants in Maltese waters: The NGO Alarm Phone said another group of migrants, this time of 90 people, was at risk in the Mediterranean Sea. In a post on Twitter, the NGO also said that they are in the Maltese search and rescue area. Alarm Phone said the immigrants contacted them and informed them that the boat engine on it had stopped working and water was entering the boat. Immigrants also said they had nothing to drink or eat. For its part, the NGO called for this group of immigrants to be helped as soon as possible.

Covid-19: Active cases declined to 54 as six persons recovered on Monday, with just one new positive case identified. 1,021 swab tests were carried out on Sunday.

Updated 0827 – Newspaper Review

The Times says that the supply of energy from the interconnector fell from 78 per cent when it first started operating in 2015 to 22 per cent last year. The sharpest drop occurred in April 2016 when the government signed a take-or-pay deal with Electrogas.

L-Orizzont publishes an interview with Martin Vella who has donated blood 34 times. The Bormla local councillor encourages the public to visit the transfusion centre and said that he worries about a time when he will no longer be able to give blood.

The Independent reports that a pilot project providing continuous monitoring to minors living with type 1 diabetes will be extended. The project measures the glucose levels of patients and is officially due to conclude in about eight weeks.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech who said that the health system should treat physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing equally. He pledged that a PN government would fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues and close down Mount Carmel hospital.

The Independent says that there were 157 fewer marriages in 2019 than in the previous year. Data by the National Statistics Office shows that 2,674 marriages were registered in the year before the Covid-19 outbreak, a decrease of 114 in Malta and 43 in Gozo.

L-Orizzont reveals that the developers’ association is demanding a review of the hours during which heavy construction equipment is allowed to operate. The lobby is proposing a time window between 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The Times reports that the number of new nurses expected to graduate this year is around 165, less than the usual average of 250. The president of the nurses and midwives union, Paul Pace, said that the health system needs 400 new recruits every year.

In-Nazzjon follows a speech by the Prime Minister on Sunday who defended the sale of citizenship under the Individual Investor Programme. Robert Abela said that the scheme engaged serious investors committed to Malta’s success.

L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who said that the Labour Party continued to attract new candidates including many women and young people. Abela said that the legislature has a few more months left but the government is focused on the next one.

Morning Briefing

PM stresses Govt’s environmental credentials: The Government “has the environment at heart”, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday, adding that this will be shown through the laying of a second interconnector and through the EU Green Deal. “Infrastructure in Malta was a liability. Now, the Government wants to change this situation,” he said. “The growth of the economy and the demand for electricity go hand in hand. The PN either didn’t have enough vision, or it didn’t think that the economy will grow,” he said. Abela remarked that the country is also looking to switch to hydrogen in the coming years in order to ensure that the targets of the EU Green Deal are reached.

National broadcaster under PL’s control – PN: The leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech has said the national broadcaster is being controlled by the Labour government. Speaking during a phone-in interview on NET FM, Grech said that it is becoming “more evident” that government is snatching up the country’s institutions. “If we want to protect the country and freedom of speech, the national broadcaster has to be impartial and truthful,” he said. Development in Malta is needed but cannot be viewed as an absolute right that impinges on other people’s rights to enjoy their property, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday. Grech said “we would be deluding ourselves in thinking that a country can advance without a reasonable level of development, including construction and foreign direct investment.”

Covid-19: For the second time in a week, Malta reported no new coronavirus cases, with three persons recovering. This has lowered the active case tally to 59.

Two solar farms in Gozo will generate two million kWh per year: An investment by the Water Services Corporation and the Malta Chamber of SMEs in two solar farms in Gozo will generate two million kWh per year. The generated electricity is equivalent to around 500 households. The solar farms at Ta’ Ċenċ were built on reservoirs of the Water Services Corporation. They cover an area of 9,360m², with 2,871 panels.

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