94 new cases of Covid-19 were registered overnight, while one more Covid-19 patient has passed away, health authorities announced on Friday.
This overnight death relates to a resident at Saint Vincent de Paule elderly home.
110 people meanwhile have recovered, meaning that the number of active cases has now gone down to 1,606.
3,558 swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of swab tests up to 479,097.
Currently, there are 18 patients at the ITU, 12 at the IDU and 39 in other wards in Mater Dei Hospital (MDH). There are also 5 patients at Boffa, 9 at St Thomas Hospital, 1 at Mount Carmel Hospital and 84 patients at the Good Samaritan. No patients are at Karin Grech or Gozo General Hospital currently.
Gauci explained that the 7-day moving average is 84 cases per day which shows that the trend in new cases is on the decline compared to last week which is a good position to be in and other Western countries are experiencing the same situation, though with higher numbers. Eastern countries are not still struggling, however.
She added that even the number of cases in elderly homes is going down but there are 6 homes that are still experiencing issues.
Just like other week, most new cases relate to household clusters followed by the workplace and then social gatherings.
The average age of infected cases this week is 43 years old with the 25-35 age group being the most common.
Gauci reiterated that even though the virus effects the elderly the most, the virus can still leave long-term effects that can cause complications later on in life so she appealed for younger persons to stay vigilant and follow protocols.
With regards to the tests carried out at the airport, 1,318 rapid tests were carried out with 9 persons getting a positive result; 4 from Italy, 2 from Bulgaria, 1 from Belgium and 1 form Switzerland.
Gauci appealed for anyone with symptoms to book a test online covidtest.gov.mt which has already been used by 2,000 people and also to download the Covid-19 Alert app.
Asked if the vaccine should be made mandatory for healthcare workers seeing that studies being carried out show some hesitation, Gauci said that they are the ones that have seen the effects of the virus up close so hesitation is understandable.
However, she said that these studies need to be taken in the context of when they were carried out. “We are in a more informed position now with the vaccine being administered in some areas of the world and major health entities across the globe are supporting it.”
She added that the health authorities will be releasing a campaign to inform the public as well as the healthcare workers about the vaccine.
Asked if take home Covid-19 tests should be used, Gauci said that there is a technique to doing the test which has to be done by an experienced person and people might do it incorrectly at home.
Asked if persons with allergies should be worried about the vaccine, Gauci said that there was a lot of communication about this and confirmed that the vaccine will only have an effect against the components of the vaccine itself.
“The only people who should be worried are those who experienced Anaphylaxis when they took a jab. People with allergies like penicillin or food allergies do not need to worry, nor do people with skin conditions.”
Malta has had 11,569 cases of the virus so far. 9,780 have recovered, while 183 have died.