9 new Covid-19 cases as 60% of the population is vaccinated / Malta News Briefing – Sunday 9 May 2021

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Update – Vouchers to be distributed on 7th June

A second round of government-issed €100 vouchers will be announced over the coming days, the Prime Minister announced on Sunday. “Over the next few days we will announce how these vouchers will be distributed, but the target remains that from 7 June, those vouchers will start being utilised,” Robert Abela said. The extension of government’s initial voucher scheme was announced during the Budget 2021, with €60 to be spent at restaurants and €40 spent on services and goods. MaltaToday

Update – PN Leader reacts to dismal survey results

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech said on Sunday that he is determined not to allow “frivolities” take centre stage, in a reference to the Facebook spate between MPs Adrian Delia and Jason Azzopardi last week. He also acknowledged that more needs to be done to address the trust rating drop as reported in a survey published earlier in the day. Times of Malta

Update – 60% of Malta’s population will be vaccinated by today

Within the next 24 hours, 60% of Malta’s adult population will have taken at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, health minister Chris Fearne said. He made the announcement in a Tweet on Sunday morning. As of 5 May, Malta had the highest vaccination rate in Europe having administered 79.82 doses per 100 people in the country, while in second place the United Kingdom administered 74.66 doses per 100. Newsbook.com.mt

Update – Covid-19 Update

9 new Covid-19 cases were found by health authorities as the number of active cases continued to decrease. With 31 recoveries registered and no new deaths as a result of the virus, the number of active cases now stands at 225. 1,766 swab tests were carried out on Saturday, taking the total number of swab tests so far up to 883,785. Malta Independent

PL to propose Cannabis legalisation rather than decriminalisation

The Labour Party will be pushing for the legalisation, not just decriminalisation of cannabis.  TheJournal.mt reports that in its official reaction to the Government’s White Paper on the responsible use of cannabis, planned for publication tomorrow, the Labour Party will be advocating the legalisation of cannabis. TheJournal

Newspaper Review

Malta Today publishes survey findings showing that PN Leader Bernard Grech’s trust ratings dropped 10 points since last month, scoring 25.7 percent. Trust in Prime Minister increased by two points as Robert Abela reached 49.6 percent.

The Sunday Times reveals that Electrogas director and investor Paul Apap Bologna owns a secret Dubai company similar to 17 Black. The police are investigating Kittiwake Limited as part of a money-laundering operation.

Malta Today publishes survey findings showing that PN Leader Bernard Grech’s trust ratings dropped 10 points since last month, scoring 25.7 percent. Trust in Prime Minister increased by two points as Robert Abela reached 49.6 percent.

Illum says PN Leader Bernard Grech was prepared to present a motion in the party Executive Committee to disqualify MPs Adrian Delia and Jason Azzopardi from contesting the next election but rescinded after the two agreed on a common statement.

Kullħadd says that PN Leader Bernard Grech received criticism internally for his handling of the recent tiff between MPs Adrian Delia and Jason Grech. Grech cancelled a meeting of the Executive Committee after the two sides reached an agreement.

Il-Mument says that the ministers from Gozo, Clint Camilleri, Justyne Caruana, and Anton Refalo are ‘locked in competition’ to help people in their constituency jump the line for the Covid-19 vaccination.

The Independent on Sunday carries an interview with Marylis Mallia, whose son Ramiro died from inhaling gas in March. Mallia said that no mother ever wants to attend their child’s funeral and that mothers’ day has a different meaning for her this year.

Il-Mument carries an interview with the coordinator of the PN policy clusters reform, Claudio Grech. The MP said that the project identifies 128 priorities based on the quality of life and a better economic mission.

It-Torċa speaks with Minister Owen Bonnici, responsible for the post-pandemic strategy, who said that the government is building a vision built on economic competitiveness, protection of jobs, and improved wellbeing.

Malta Today says that PN MP Adrian Delia sent an emotional video message to his supporters thanking them for their support in the latest spat with fellow MP Jason Azzopardi. Delia said that he will not lose his integrity.

The Independent on Sunday speaks to the new director-general of the developers’ association, Deborah Schembri, who said that rogue operators are giving a bad name to the construction industry. Schembri called for stricter law enforcement.

Illum publishes an interview with Richmond Foundation communications coordinator Svetlana Gatt who said that the pandemic contributed to a rise in anxiety and the organisation was received the equivalent of three months’ calls for help in 10 days.

The Sunday Times says that former chief of staff Keith Schembri had sent Kenneth Camilleri, then part of the Prime Minister’s security detail, to reassure murder middleman Melvin Theuma sometime in 2018.

It-Torċa says that more than 372,000 people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and about a third of these received both. Malta registered six new cases on Saturday from just over 2,000 swab tests.

EU should build global responsibility in fight against pandemic – PM

PM Robert Abela insisted that the European Union should continue to honour its global responsibility and preserve its key role in the fight against the pandemic. Abela was addressing an EU Summit held in Porto, in Portugal, virtually, given that he is currently under quarantine after his wife, Dr Lydia Abela, tested positive to the virus.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that the Green Digital Certificate is an important tool to ensure a successful Summer. He explained that in a short time, Malta will be introducing the vaccine certificate to further facilitate travel. Abela also stressed the importance of the vaccine in the fight COVID-19.

While acknowledging the European Commission’s information on the procurement of vaccines for member states, he said that the predictability of vaccine deliveries, both immediately and in the future, remains a very important factor to fight the pandemic.

Chamber urges country to focus on Covid cases

In reaction to the decision of the UK Government not to place Malta on the green list for travel, the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry urged the country to remain focused on reducing Covid-19 cases. Whilst noting that Malta has considerably reduced active cases over a relatively short period, the Chamber remarked that the country has very few more cases per 100,000 population than Portugal, which is included in the list.

The Chamber argued that Malta should take great care to ensure the numbers of cases remain low, adding that the fact Malta is ahead of other EU countries in vaccinations augurs well for when tourism kicks off again on 1 June.

Covid-19 Update
Malta registered a six-month low number of new Covid-19 cases on Saturday. With six new cases Malta registered its lowest daily tally since July 27, 2020. There were no deaths reported in the previous 24 hours.

CDE News