Quarter of people in hospital for Covid-19 show no symptoms / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 27 July 2021

Reading Time: 7 minutes

A 21-year-old man was found injured on Locker street in Sliema, after an argument occurred in flats close by. The incident occurred at 4.45pm, when the police close by saw a man on the ground. The man seemed to have tried to escape the flat after being stabbed, police said. While the victim is a 21-year-old male, the alleged aggressor seems to have been a 14-year-old boy, who is also under shock. Inside the flat, the police found blood. Malta Independent

Months before he was exposed as the owner of 17 Black, Yorgen Fenech told his wife in an email that “17 was one whole stress” and that “Electrogas was one huge mistake,” a court heard on Tuesday. In fiery testimony that sparked several angry reactions from Fenech and his defence team, Matthew Caruana Galizia told a court how he and his murdered mother had gradually pieced together a puzzle they believed had Fenech as its centrepiece. Emails showed how Fenech’s concerns tallied with what banks were asking of him, while others indicated that former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri – referred to as “Special K”, Caruana Galizia said, – was directly involved in the Electrogas power station project that his mother was investigating. – Times of Malta

Three local councils, 9 NGOs and 10 residents of Pembroke and Swieqi have field an appeal with the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal against the granting of a permit to the DB Group’s planned project on the ex-ITS site at St George’s Bay. In a statement, Moviment Graffitti said that the appeal was made possible through a crowdfunding campaign which raised some €20,000 from hundreds of donors. The appeal seeks the annulment of the PA decision to allow the construction of two residential towers, of 18 and 17 storeys in height, as well as a 12-storey hotel on a site that lies right next to a residential area in Pembroke. – Newsbook

Malta Air’s first Boeing 737-8200 has arrived in Malta, and is expected to carry 4% more passengers than its predecessors. Malta Air CEO David O’Brien dubbed the aircraft a ‘game-changer’, adding that the Boeing 737-8200 had reduced fuel consumption by 16% per seat, lower CO2 emissions and 40% less noise emissions. “This will enable the Ryanair group to develop its environmentally friendly, great service, flights direct to Malta as it leads European aviation recovery,” O’Brien said. Transport Minister Ian Borg called the arrival of Malta Air “a strong endorsement of the excellence and professionalism of Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate.” – MaltaToday

Updated 1300

Covid-19 Update: There were 142 new cases found today as 174 people recovered. 4,031 swab tests were taken as active cases reached 2,230. The average age of yesterday’s cases was 34. A total of 37 Covid positive patients are currently being treated at Mater Dei hospital, one of whom is in ITU.

Quarter of people in hospital for Covid-19 show no symptoms: A quarter of Covid-19 patients in hospital do not have symptoms. They were found to be positive after routine testing at Mater Dei. They were in the hospital for other health reasons. All the asymptomatic patients have been vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry. There has been a steep rise in patients,  from 19 on Saturday to 34 on Sunday and 39 on Monday. However nine have since been discharged. Public health chief Charmaine Gauci last week said that the fact that just one patient is currently in ITU is a sign the vaccine works. In an interview with Times of Malta, Health Minister Chris Fearne indicated authorities “might ease measures” if they can prove there is a break between community cases and hospitalisations. 

Legal notice for language schools amended to allow for exceptions and special permissions in line with health decisions: A legal notice has been issued allowing health authorities to reopen language schools if there is a necessary or essential exemption. The legal notice states that “Provided that the Superintendent of Public Health may, through the issuance of standards, provide for exemptions from the provisions of this order wherever such exemptions are deemed necessary or essential.”

Updated 0815

The Independent quotes a statement by the travel agents’ association warning that new travel regulations introduced by the government in June have drastically slowed down the rate of booking for outbound tourism.  

The Times leads with survey results showing that 38 per cent of the population backs the selling of passports while 37 per cent disagree with it. People in the 45 to 54 age group are most likely to support the scheme while those aged 18 to 24 are the biggest critics.

L-Orizzont reports that a national embellishment campaign by public service departments has collected some 630 tonnes of waste from roads, 270 tonnes from the coast, 2,700 tonnes of algae from bays.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech that unfulfilled donation pledges to the Malta Community Chest Fund by the Blockchain Charity Foundation are the result of government incompetence and will now have to be offset by public funds.

The Times says that the Commissioner for voluntary organisations has repeatedly urged the Blockchain Charity Foundation to file its accounts for the years 2018 to 2020. Set up by crypto exchange Binance, the foundation is being warned of legal action.

In-Nazzjon says that the Armed Forces have rescued 46 migrants including a baby in distress and brought them ashore on Monday. Three people in the group of arrivals are believed to have died during the journey.

L-Orizzont says that nearly 350,000 travelled from Malta to Gozo for tourism purposes in 2020, a higher total than the previous two years despite the restrictions on crossings for a number of weeks.

The Independent says that a total of 388,000 tourists visited Gozo and Comino last year but almost nine in every ten were domestic visitors. Total expenditure of internal tourism to Gozo increased by 51 per cent from the previous year, amounting to €59.4 million.  

In-Nazzjon reports that Michael Piccinino has submitted his nomination for secretary general of the Nationalist Party. In a message on social media, Piccinino said that the country needs an alternative government.

Morning Briefing

Energy Ministry looking into W&E overbilling claims

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said that her Ministry is is looking into a draft National Audit Office report which found that consumers could have been charged an extra €6.5 million on their electricity and water bills, with the Opposition insisting such funds should be returned. “We are studying the leaked report and we must ensure that the system we chose will not penalise any sector in society,” Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said in an interview. Dalli retorted that “the solution the Nationalist Party come up with is very simplified and from what we see will penalise different sectors.”

NSO data shows Gozo benefited from lack of pandemic travel

NSO data shows that Gozo has strongly benefited from the lack of travelling options in 2020, with domestic tourism across Malta and Gozo increasing by 52% in 2020. 360,460 persons made the trip to the sister island, last year. This was reflected in a similar increase in expenditure, estimated by the Stat Office at over €57 million – an increase of 61.2% over 2019 levels.

Covid-19 update: 94 new cases of coronavirus were reported by health authorities on Monday, while for the first time in weeks, a higher number of recoveries (126) was registered. 3,136 swab tests were taken yesterday. Of the 127 cases reported yesterday, 86 were aged 39 and younger. 39 persons are currently hospitalised, with one person in ITU.

CDE News

Once you're here...