Dr Calvagna passes away / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 4 January 2022

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1745- Latest News update

Times of Malta says that A fundraiser for a 29-year-old woman who was found murdered in Sliema has raised €20,000 in a single day. 

MaltaToday says that tributes and condolences are pouring in for beloved paediatric oncologist Victor Calvagna, who passed away today after losing his battle with life

Newsbook says that Some 70 asylum seekers are currently stranded on an oil platform in Malta’s search and rescue area with the island’s authorities once again failing to respond to distress calls.

TVM says that The non-governmental organization Malta Gay Rights Movement said it had long been warning of vulnerable people joining the controversial River of Love Evangelical Community.

Updated 1416

Puttinu Cares has just announced the death of the renowned cancer specialist Dr Victor Calvagna. He was involved in a car accident last week in Qawra. A few hours after the incident, his wife said that he had suffered severe brain damage and all support had been withdrawn, letting “nature take its course”.

Mid-Day Briefing

Covid-19 Update: A man died while COVID-19 positive as the number of new virus cases rose to 1147 on Tuesday. Virus cases in hospital numbered 124, with five in intensive care. The health authorities said the latest victim was a 65-year-old man.

Autopsy shows woman was strangled and raped: An autopsy on Paulina Dembska’s body shows that she was raped and choked by her murderer Abner Aquilina before her lifeless body was found in Sliema. Paulina Dembska was murdered at Sliema’s Independence Garden early on Sunday, 2 January. The autopsy, finalised Monday evening, revealed that she was raped and had marks along her neck indicating she was choked. Murder suspect Abner Aquilina has not yet been charged as he has is being assessed for mental health conditions.

MEA directs members to treat unauthorised work absences as unpaid leave

The Malta Employers’ Association has issued a directive to its members instructing them to treat any absence from work which
has not been authorised by the employer, as unpaid leave. The Association stated that it is the prerogative of the employer to
decide whether its employees should work remotely or not. Earlier, the UHM Voice of the Workers has issued directives to parents impacted by the closure of schools and childcare centres, ordering them to work from home until their children physically return to class.

Morning Briefing

Two-thirds of new cases are Omicron – Fearne

Omicron is fast moving towards becoming the major Covid-19 variant in Malta, with more than two-thirds of new cases being sequenced to this variant, Health Minister Chris Fearne revealed. “Two thirds (67 per cent) of new COVID cases currently sequenced in Malta are now Omicron. Vaccination with booster doses remains vitally important,” Fearne said in a tweet on Monday, apparently reacting to reports in a number of media outlets complaining about the lack of information on the matter.

PN wants self-testing kits introduced

The Nationalist Party proposed the introduction of regulated self-testing kits for COVID-19. In a press release on Monday, the PN argued that self-testing kits can address failures in the government testing and contact tracing system.
“In this way, we can address the lack of planning by the government,” the PN added. Last week, Chief Medical Officer Walter Busuttil had ruled out making self-testing kits for COVID-19 legal, citing concerns about their accuracy when compared to tests carried out at authorised testing centres.

River of Love refutes murder suspect links

River of Love pastor Gordon Manche denied any links between the community and Abner Aquilina, the main suspect in the Dembska murder that occurred on Sunday. The link between the community had been made after a member had shared a video which featured Aquilina, but Manche was quick to deny any such links, adding that they do not know anything about him and that he was not a part of the River of Love Community. “New people walk-ins come all the time, and just like every church we don’t control who visits.”

Covid-19 Update: 812 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Monday, health authorities said, while 240 persons recovered. Active cases now stand at 13,260. 122 patients are currently hospitalised, seven of whom in ITU. Meanwhile, the German government has placed Malta on the list of high-risk areas. This was announced by the Robert Koch Institute, the main agency of the German Government responsible for disease prevention and control. The reason behind the inclusion of Malta, together with Italy, Canada and San Marino, is that the four countries reported more than 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 citizens during the past week.

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