Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said seven new Coronavirus cases were registered today, for a total of 202.
Gauci said three of the cases were locally transmitted, while the other four were related to travelling.
The three locally transmitted cases include a migrant, a pregnant woman and another employee at the Lidl supermarket in Safi.
Gauci said that the second Lidl employee work was on the same shift as the same worker. The 23-year-old developed symptoms on 31 March. The woman had been in quarantine after the first case and the store had been disinfected after the original case.
The migrant is a 33-year-old Nigerian who has been here in Malta since October, and who has been staying at the Hal Far open centre. He was not working because of an unrelated accident, and had been in contact with six other migrants who share the same dormitory. They are now in quarantine and a contact tracing exercise is taking place to see which staff members came in contact.
The pregnant woman is an Italian who works in Malta and entered hospital for checks before a Caesarian operation. She tested positive to the virus too.
The four cases related to travelling are all of people who returned from England in the last days of March.
One is a man aged 55 who returned on 19 March and developed symptoms on 31 March; a 62-year-old woman who returned from Australia via the UK on 20 March and developed symptoms on 31 March; a 28-year-old woman who returned on 23 March and developed symptoms on the same day, leading to a contact tracing exercise involved passengers who were sitting close to her; and a 55-year-old man who is related to two other cases that had involved travelling from England.
Gauci said that one person who was at the ITU on Thursday was moved to the Infectious Diseases Unit, while another is still in critical condition. In all, there are eight patients at the IDU and another 16 in St Thomas Hospital; the rest are at home. In all, 9,043 swab tests have been taken, of which 749 in the last 24 hours.
Asked whether swabbing tests are to be made available to the community, Gauci explained that currently testing is being performed on individuals who show symptoms, even very mild symptoms. “Any person that shows just slight symptoms is being tested and we are currently carrying out studies to see how we can do tests through serology, where you test antibodies of those individuals,” explained Gauci.
When asked regarding employees who are still going to work and work in offices with more than three other employees, Gauci said that the health authorities have suggested a number of measures to such companies on how to reduce the risk of employees getting the virus.
“Such companies should monitor their employees, such as taking their temperature. If any employees have symptoms, they should not be going to work,” said Gauci. The authorities are also urging workers to stay away from each other even if they work in the same building.
With regards to factories, Gauci said that the company should provide physical barriers between one employee and another.
Asked whether people who breach quarantine rules have been tested, Gauci said that this would be necessary only if the individual has symptoms. “Certain individuals are in quarantine, but does not necessary mean that they have tested positive,” explained Gauci.