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73-year-old woman is Malta’s 421st Covid death / Malta News Briefing – Saturday 24 July 2021

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Updated 1400

A 73 year old woman became Malta’s 421 Covid death. 171 cases were reported on Saturday while 92 recovered.

Updated 0840 – Newspaper Review

The Times reports on plans by health authorities to shorten the current 14-day isolation period for people who come into contact with Covid-19 patients to five days if mandatory swab tests return negative.

L-Orizzont reports that more than 8,300 people visited the walk-in clinics to get their Covid-19 vaccine since they opened on Monday. Health Minister Chris Fearne said that the service will starts opening in the evenings too.

The Independent quotes a report by eSkills Malta Foundation projecting an increase in demand of more than 20 per cent for ICT professionals in the next 10 years. Economy Minister Silvio Schembri urged businesses to prepare their workforces for new needs.

In-Nazzjon speaks with financial investment adviser Jesmond Mizzi who said that Malta’s classification as a High-Risk jurisdiction by the UK will intensify due diligence requirements for businesses and banks.

The Times says that the Attorney General is appealing the community service sentence handed to the architects convicted of involuntary homicide in the Ħamrun house collapse last year. The grounds of appeal have not yet been published.

In-Nazzjon reports on the inauguration ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday amid tight Covid-19 regulations. Athletes Eleanor Bezzina and Andrew Chetcuti were the flagbearers in the Maltese delegation.

L-Orizzont follows the opening of the Labour Party General Conference on Friday. In his address, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the government will remain focused on projects that improve the quality of life.

The Independent says that the British government has relaxed quarantine requirements for persons employed in sensitive areas after mass isolation has created severe shortages in products and staff.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech that Britain’s decision to put Malta on the High-Risk list for financial transactions is a blow to jobs in the sector. Grech said that the country does not deserve this reputation.

Morning Briefing

Shorter quarantine for vaccinated persons on the cards

Persons who have received two doses of the anti-Covid jab should soon be required to self-isolate less than the full two weeks if they come into contact with a positive person. According to Ministry of Health plans shared by Minister Fearne with The Times of Malta, the tentative plan is to allow fully vaccinated people to exit self-isolation after a five-day period and a negative PCR test result, with people another swab test being required some days later.

Yesterday, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry argued that quarantine rules should be eased for fully vaccinated people saying that quarantine was placing an unsurmountable burden on business.

ERA approves study on gas pipeline

The Environment and Resources Authority, ERA, has approved the study on the environmental impact of a gas pipeline between Malta and Italy. TVM reports that ERA had asked for this study to be carried out in 2017, as the site in Malta from where the pipeline will link up with Gela in Sicily is on a Natura 2000 site. The report had been presented to the ERA in February 2020, and after scrutinising it, the ERA heard the public’s views on the project.
The ERA Board said that there was no objection to the project as long as the suggested measures are implemented.

Malta donates 20,000 Rapid Antigen Test kits to Tunisia

Malta will donate 20,000 Rapid Antigen Test kits to Tunisia which has been adversely affected by the Delta variant, considered to be the main cause of new cases in the spread of the pandemic in the North African country.​

Covid-19 Update

172 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Friday, the Health Ministry said. 65 patients recovered, while 97 have been repatriated, taking the active case tally to 2,497. 3,640 swab tests were taken the day before. 19 patients are currently hospitalised.

CDE News