Malta is red again after huge rise in Covid cases: ECDC / News Briefing – Monday 19 July 2021

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Updated1239: Covid-19 Update

146 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Monday, with 15 persons recovering. This takes the number of active cases to 1963. 3,809 swab tests were carried out yesterday. Of the 195 cases reported yesterday, 125 cases were 10-39 year olds. 18 persons are currently hospitalised.

Updated 0840 – Malta on ECDC red list

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has placed Malta on the red list following the latest spike in cases. Malta was listed as a red country after the 14-day case notification rate shot up to 122 and the positivity rate stood at 4.08. While this will not directly imply any restrictions on the country, many national authorities refer to such classifications when styling their own risk assessments.

Updated 0830 – Newspaper Review

The Times says that residents in Għargħur are opposing the renewal of licenses for two firework factories in the area. One of the facilities was blown apart in an accident in 2007, killing five and causing damage to nearby properties.

The Independent says that three-fourths of the 206 new Covid-19 patients registered on Saturday were under 40 years old. Active cases have risen to more than 1,800 with 18 people hospitalised.

L-Orizzont carries the story of a worker at a nursing home who was laid off without being informed. The woman was on unpaid sick leave for several months during the pandemic, but when restrictions were eased she was told that she had been made redundant.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech that the party wants to be the agent of change in Malta. He said that the PN is renewing itself and welcomes individuals from all spheres to better address the needs of the people.

The Independent says that the Planning Authority board will this week decide on an application to erect a five-storey residential block adjacent to the former Trade Fair grounds in Naxxar. The 71-unit plan has been recently revised.

The Times reports that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has put Malta on the red travel list again as new Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Countries are placed on the red list if the positivity rate is higher than 4.0.

L-Orizzont follows a controversy surrounding PL general election candidate Audrey Demicoli who is advertising free private lessons to students in her district. The architect was criticised on social media for offering tuition without having a teaching warrant.

In-Nazzjon follows an address by Prime Minister Robert Abela during which he expressed disappointment at the grey-listing by the FATF. The paper says that Abela blamed the opposition for the downgrade.

Morning Briefing

Abela blames PN after parliamentary vote fails to pass

PM Robert Abela expressed frustration at Government’s failure to push through a vote giving state agencies power to impose heftier fines against money laundering, arguing that it was not true that the Opposition wants Malta to implement the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force as it had voted against the amendments to the Constitution aimed at boosting the country’s regulatory authorities in its fight against money laundering.
Dr Abela said the Government will continue with reforms in the country despite what he called the Opposition’s negative attitude.

Malta tops list of vaccinations

With 81% of the population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Malta has strengthened its leadership in this regard. Nearly another six per cent have received the first dose. Iceland is in second place, at 74%, with the UAE third at 68%.

Minister contracts Covid

Michael Farrugia, the Minister for the Elderly and Active Ageing, said on Facebook that he had contracted Covid. He will be spending the next two weeks in quarantine. However, he assured his followers that “his office will remain open”, and it will be attended to by his assistant.

COVID-19 Update

Malta reported 195 new coronavirus cases and 5 recoveries. The total number of active cases is 1832. Prime Minister Robert Abela, on Sunday said low number of COVID-19 cases currently in hospital confirms that “the situation is under control” despite rocketing tallies of daily new infections.