Two new Covid deaths for second day running / Malta News Briefing – Monday 9 August 2021

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Latest Update- News Portal Briefing

Times of Malta reports that the government has appointed a board to look into the correctional services’ internal procedures after a 30-year-old prisoner attempted suicide at the prisons on Sunday afternoon.

MaltaToday reports that Yorgen Fenech helped fund the Degiorgio brothers’ legal defence following their arrest, the court heard on Monday.

Newsbook reports that two buses have been equipped with solar panels as a pilot project to electrify the public transport fleet has been launched.

TVM reports that an external lighting system is to be installed at the Mosta Rotunda with an € 850,000 investment from the National Social and Development Fund.

Updated 1236- Mid-Day Briefing

Covid-19 Update: 56 new cases of coronavirus were reported by health authorities on Monday, with 121 patients recovering. Active cases continued to decline and now stand at 878. 2,615 swab tests were taken on Sunday. Two Covid-infected patients, aged 71 and 63 passed away in the past 24 hours. Two other deaths were also reported on Sunday, taking the death tally to 428.

Imports, exports down in first six months of year: During the first six months of the year, the total trade in goods deficit widened by €21.2 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2020, reaching €1,314.3 million. Both imports and exports decreased by €79.8 million and €101.0 million, respectively, and amounted to €2,832.4 million and €1,518.1 million. Lower imports were mainly recorded in Machinery and transport equipment (€72.1 million). On the exports side, Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (€147.1 million), Machinery and transport equipment (€61.3 million) and Food (€31.2 million) accounted for the main declines, partly offset by an increase in Chemicals.

Update 0845 – Newspaper Review

L-Orizzont says that the Commissioner for the Elderly received several complaints from people aged over 65 who were dismissed from their employment during the pandemic without receiving due compensation.

The Independent says there is a rise in accommodation bookings in Gozo for the Santa Marija weekend compared with other weekends this summer, even though the feast this year falls on a Sunday.

In-Nazzjon reports that a prison inmate attempted suicide in his cell at the Corradino Correctional Facility on Sunday. The 30-year-old was rushed to Mater Dei hospital and remains in critical condition.

The Times says that the Courts upheld a plea by the lawyers of a man charged with killing his wife, ordering the prosecution to discard statements by the defendant to the police soon after the murder was discovered in 2016.

The Times reports that a range of popular pharmaceutical products imported from the UK are running out of stock as a result of Brexit. Pharmacists said that if the products become available again, there will likely be a price hike.

L-Orizzont reports that a Tunisian woman resident in Malta has been forced to quarantine at a hotel after a visit abroad. Fully vaccinated and carrying a negative PCR test, the woman’s request to quarantine in her own home was refused by authorities.

In-Nazzjon reports on an interview with Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis published by Sunday paper Illum. The embattled minister said that he enjoys the full backing of the Prime Minister.

The Independent reports that two unvaccinated people died from Covid-19 on Sunday while being treated at Mater Dei hospital. Meanwhile, the number of active cases fell below 1,000 for the first time since mid-July.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech that the party is building a programme that gives people hope. He criticised the government’s energy policy and said that the PN has a long-term plan for this sector.

L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela that the government is preparing “a strong Budget” for 2022. He said that the assistance and incentives introduced during the pandemic will not be followed by austerity.

Morning Briefing

Suicide attempt in prison leaves inmate in critical condition

Sunday afternoon brought about another terrible incident in prison after a 30-year-old inmate was hospitalised in a critical condition after an attempted suicide attempt. The prisoner is Maltese and he was found in his cell at 5.05pm, according to a statement. The prisoner was assisted by the facility’s doctors and nurses and then transferred to Mater Dei Hospital. The police are investigating and an inquiry is being held, the prisons said.
The Home Affairs Ministry said it will be immediately setting up an inquiry board to evaluate internal procedures at the prisons.

Two unvaccinated people die of Covid-19

Two people have died while positive for Covid-19, health authorities said on Sunday – taking the total number of deaths registered in the country as a result of the pandemic up to 426. The two were a 77-year-old male and a 63-year-old female, who both passed away at Mater Dei Hospital while positive for the virus. 59 new cases were registered on Sunday, with 170 new recoveries taking the total number of active cases below the 1,000 mark for the first time since 14 July. The number of active cases now stands at 945.

86% of adults vaccinated – PM Abela

PM Robert Abela said that the country was able to continue to relax social restictions as 86% of the adult population are vaccinated against the pandemic, and whilst stressing this is one of the most advanced rates worldwide, noted how the situation in hospitals has remained stable. The Labour leader said that the economy was showing signs of working well, noting how this was also a result of government initiatives such ax tax credits. Economic aid to businesses, he said, has started to shift from support to incentives so that they can grow and help the economy grow with them. He promised a “strong” budget without any new or increased taxes which will continue to sustain those who need to be supported.

Moody’s rating evidence of grey-listing impact – Grech

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech argued on Sunda that Moody’s Credit Agency negative result was saddening and evidence that the country will suffer the consequences of the fact that Malta has been placed on the FATF grey list. The Nationalist Leader said the country has been placed on the FATF grey list as the Government is not understanding the damage it has caused. He insisted that the fact that Justice Minister remained in his post after close ties with Yorgen Fenech were revealed was harming the country’s reputation.

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