Covid-19 Active cases increase again / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 4 May 2021

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1745 Update- News Portal Briefing

Times of Malta reports that a dedicated team within Malta’s anti-money laundering unit, the FIAU, is being set up to enforce a recently imposed €10,000 limit for cash transactions on high-value goods.

MaltaToday reports the Office of the President has issued a rare statement defending a social media post in which George Vella voiced his concern at the construction of a four-storey tenement just a few metres away from a scheduled building close to his hometown street in Żejtun.

Newsbook reports that during the first quarter of 2021, road traffic accidents and casualties declined, with only one road traffic fatality recorded

TVM reports that two foreign students, a Frenchman and a Spanish woman both aged 23, were arraigned in Court charged with having threatened and grievously injured a 72-year old man early on Sunday morning.

Updated 1300

Covid-19 Update: 27 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on Tuesday while no new deaths were recorded for the second consecutive day.

There were a total of 1,636 swab test yesterday. 19 persons recovered, with the active case tally increasing to 288.

British press says Malta likely to be on UK green list: Britain is set to announce the green list for countries that people can travel to on holiday shortly and will have the right procedures in place to ensure travel can happen safely. Both The Times (London) and The Guardian said destinations likely to make it onto the list for travel from 17 May include Portugal, Malta and Gibraltar, while the Telegraph said Spain, Greece and France could be added by the end of June.

Former PM’s assets in steep increase: Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s bank deposits shot up by €191,000 in the year he quit the role, with his declaration for 2020 also lists two new properties. Muscat said the difference in funds and real estate was due to the termination package granted to him upon stepping down in January 2020, income from his new practice and inheritance following the death of a family member.

MFSA looks abroad for new CEO: The financial services regulator has issued an international call for applications for its top job in a bid to improve its reputation following bad press received in the past months, with its former CEO, Joseph Cuschieri, travelling to Las Vegas with Yorgen Fenech. Currently, Christopher P Buttigieg, is occupying the role of acting CEO. A specially appointed board will shortlist the applicants and choose the next chief executive. This will be a new procedure, since past CEOs were appointed by the authority’s board of governors.

Newspaper Review

The Times reports that former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat declared bank deposits of €256,000 for 2020, a sharp rise from €65,000 declared the year before. He said the increase came mainly from the termination package after he quit government.

The Independent says that the Financial Services Authority has issued an international call for the role of CEO. The announcement for the vacancy was posted in global publications including The Economist.

In-Nazzjon covers a PN press event where leader Bernard Grech presented a new policy framework developing a ten-year vision for Malta. Grech said that the party wants policies that help people accomplish their ambitions.

L-Orizzont quotes Prime Minister Robert Abela who announced plans by the government to unveil a national strategy on the rights of people with disability. The document will focus on accessibility and inclusion.

The Independent follows a Cabinet meeting held at the Inspire Foundation on Monday. Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he expected the €274 million contract awarded by St Vincent de Paul to be brought before the government for approval.

In-Nazzjon asks the Prime Minister about the damning report by the Auditor General on a development contract awarded by St Vincent de Paul Residence. Robert Abela said he will analyse the conclusions before taking any action.

The Times says that an inmate who claimed torture and terror by the Corradino Correctional Facility management has been placed under solitary confinement and banned from communicating with anyone outside the prison.

L-Orizzont speaks with a woman whose parents both contracted the coronavirus. Her mother, aged 70, died in hospital while her father was kept in intensive care for three weeks before finally beating the disease.

Morning Briefing

Finance Minister bullish on grey-listing

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana expressed convicton that Malta would not be grey-listed, with Government hard at work to make amends and rectify the shortcomings of the Joseph Muscat administration. Speaking on 103, Caruana admitted that “yes, a number of mistakes had to be addressed,” when asked whether the Muscat government had committed serious political and governance blunders.

Opposition MP Mario de Marco argued Malta failed the test under the Jospeh Muscat administration “because there was no political will to implement anti-money laundering legislation.”

Malta donates 20 oxygen concentrators to the Holy Family Hospital in India

Malta will be sending 20 oxygen concentrators to India, which is currently in a difficult situation due to the serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the initiative of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministry for Health, this donation will off​er strong relief to the Holy Family Hospital in the Indian capital city, New Delhi—which is among the worst hit by the pandemic—as agreed with the director of this hospital.

The medical equipment provided by the Maltese Government, which take in ambient air and increase its oxygen concentration by filtering away the nitrogen, is intended for patients who are heavily dependent on oxygen therapy, which is currently so scarce and necessary in India.

More than a thousand fine for breaking Covid rules

1,066 fines were dished out over the last seven days to people who breached COVID-19 rules. The vast majority, some 800, were handed to persons not wearing masks properly.
Another 160 people were fined for gathering in groups of more than four.

Covid-19 Update
35 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the previous 24 hours, along with 16 recoveries, bringing the total number of known active cases to 280.
The new cases have been identified through 1,550 swab tests. No new Covid related deaths were reported.

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