Malta registers 30,000th coronavirus case / Malta News Briefing – Monday 19 April 2021

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Latest Update- News Portal Briefing

Times of Malta reports that atotal of 1,137 fines were handed out over the last seven days to people who failed to follow COVID-19 mitigation measures, down from last week’s 1,261.

MaltaToday reports that Government has awarded an alternative site to Ricasoli Port Facility so that the oil tank cleaning facility at Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara can be relocated

TVM reports that DB Group owner Silvio Debono and the Caruana Galizia family have reached an agreement to withdraw 19 libel proceedings that Debono opened against Daphne Caruana Galizia four years ago.

Newsbook reports that the Armed Forces of Malta have sent out a message informing vessels that a ‘US citizen’ has found themselves in distress.

Updated 1240: Covid-19 Update

60 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday while another 41 patients recovered. This means that active case edged up over 600 again, reaching 614. Total cases have now exceeded 30,000.

There were no new deaths on Sunday.

276,516 vaccine doses have been administered, 84,933 of which are second jabs.

Cabinet votes against pardon to alleged Caruana Galizia murders

Cabinet will be advising President George Vella against granting a pardon to the three alleged hitmen in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder, who requested immunity in exchange for information on major crimes. In a statement, the government said ministers had met to discuss the request by Vincent Muscat, known as is il-Koħħu, and brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, who are accused of planting and detonating the bomb.

Government said that Cabinet decided against the pardon after taking into consideration the advice provided by the attorney general and the police commissioner. “The cabinet’s decision is not only based on the advice of the relevant institutions, but is also in the national interest and the interest of justice,” it said.

Updated 0910 – Newspaper Review

The Independent reports that the Planning Authority gas approved the conversion of the Badger go-karting track in Ta’ Qali into a garden centre. The new site is expected to have ancillary facilities including an animal petting area and a bumping car ride.

The Times quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who appealed for caution as authorities started easing Covid-19 restrictions. Abela said that the fight against the pandemic has not been won yet.

L-Orizzont speaks with Aġenzija Sapport CEO Ruth Sciberras who said that the national helpline for persons with disability, 153, received nearly 1,700 since it was launched in November last year.

In-Nazzjon follows an interview with PN Leader Bernard Grech by the editor-in-chief of The Malta Independent. Grech said that national transformation must begin with the renewal of the Nationalist Party.

The Independent follows an interview with PN Leader Bernard Grech who said that the electorate is sending a message that it wants the party to regenerate. Grech said that the PN is giving more people the opportunity to make an impact.

The Times reports that the daughter of a top advisor to Transport Minister Ian Borg was engaged as a junior lawyer with the same ministry months before the law student obtained her warrant. Worth €62,400, the contract was awarded by direct order.

In-Nazzjon reports on a fatal traffic accident on Sunday morning which claimed the life of a 19-year-old driver and injured a passenger. The teenager crashed into a tree on the outskirts of Rabat and was certified dead on the spot.

L-Orizzont quotes Health Minister Chris Fearne who said that the doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines will remain sealed until the European Medicines Agency reaches a decision on their effectiveness. 

Morning Briefing

PM “will be cautious” with easing of restrictions

PM Robert Abela said that he will be cautious with regards to Covid-19 restrictions, insisting that mitigation measures will still be necessary, even as more businesses are allowed to open today week.

“This does not mean that people will be able to flout mitigation measures. People will need to continue to follow such regulations – the wearing of masks, maintaining adequate distances, and hygiene measures – now more than ever,” he said. The dates for the re-opening of bars and restaurants have not yet been indicated. However, the PM maintained that Government was content to continue providing the necessary financial support as long as this was necessary.

He added that “As a result of the wage supplement provided by the state, there are currently less than 2,000 people registering for work. During the financial crisis of 10 years ago there were four times as many people registering for work”.

Greck acknowledges calls for further PN renewal

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said the PN had been given various signals by the people for the Party to be renewed. Speaking on NET TV, Dr Grech said that the PN was regenerating itself by changing the attitude of some of its exponents, designing a relevant policy and even giving space to new candidates. The Leader of the Opposition added that the PN was attracting people to it and promised that it would take tough decisions to renew the party.

Renewal would also take the form of new faces who are not necessarily young but above all said that new people were needed in Parliament. He admitted that some exponents needed to change their attitude.

Asked what steps the PN would take on the Electrogas and Montenegro projects, Dr Grech said he would insist on an inquiry while claiming that the Prime Minister does not want this to be done because he does not want it the truth come out.

Covid-19 Update
There were 39 new Coronavirus cases reported on Sunday together with 52 recoveries. The Ministry of Health’s update also announced there were 274,641 vaccine doses administered so far of which 84,152 received the second dose. Currently, the total number of active cases is 595.

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