Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said 12 new Coronavirus cases were registered in the last day, while 24 have recovered.
In all, 443 cases were registered so far, with three deaths. In all, 150 have recovered, for a total of 290 active cases.
Gauci said that of the 24 patients who have recovered in the last 24 hours, one is aged 10, six in their 20s, four in their 30s, six in the 40s, five in their 50s, one in his 60s and one in his 80s.
The health chief said that 726 swab tests were carried out in the last day.
Three of the new cases are members of the same family, who are relatied to another patient who had tested positive in the past days. The three cases registered today are two men aged 34 and 32, and a woman aged 62.
Another cluster of two people was also registered in the past day, an 81-year-old man and a 48-year-old man. A Maltese woman, aged 27, also tested positive.
The rest of the cases were of foreigners living in Malta.
Three more cases were of migrants at the Hal Far centre, where all residents are in quarantine. Gauci said that 20 tests were carried out, with three men testing positive – a Libyan man aged 20 and two Eritreans aged 30 and 41.
Gauci also said that an Indian man aged 50, a Syrian man aged 33 and a 38-year-old man of Eritrea – all of whom work in Malta – tested positive.
In many cases, a contact tracing exercise is being carried out to check with family members or work colleagues who could have come in contact with the people who have been infected.
Asked by The Malta Independent whether health authorities were considering imposing measures such as fines against those who skip their swab test appointments, Gauci said that health authorities are in contact with every person who misses their appointment to ascertain what the reasons for them skipping the appointment were.
To be given an appointment for a swab test, it means that the person has symptoms not dissimilar to those one would have if they have Covid-19. Gauci said that a lot had not understood that even if the symptoms they were feeling had passed, it is of utmost importance to still take the swab test as Covid-19 can be transmitted even when there are no symptoms of it in the carrier.
Gauci did not directly answer as to whether they were considering imposing fines, but emphasised that authorities were in contact with each person who skipped their appointment.
Answering questions from other media houses, Gauci noted that they had not changed the test that is being administered to people, but that the type of swab being used may be different. She noted that the swabs are all in line with the necessary specifications and hence will get the same result regardless.
Gauci said that tests on certain people in certain areas – such as on care workers who are going into elderly homes, or health care workers – have increased, while also reminding that a test only gives an indication of whether the person has the virus at a specific point in time – she noted that because someone tests negative, it doesn’t mean that they cannot contract the virus.
She said that health authorities are fully prepared for every eventuality including, if it does come to pass, a second wave of cases of the virus.
Asked about one particular case announced today where a person first developed symptoms on 1 April – 20 days ago – Gauci said that the person had already been tested but his results came out as negative, but his symptoms worsened and a new test found that he was positive for the virus.
Gauci said that this may be a situation where the person either had a very mild occurrence of the virus which was not caught, or the person had another virus and now that the symptoms started to change or increase that is where the person contracted Covid-19.
She noted that it’s difficult to know exactly what happened, but emphasised that it is still important for those who are sick – even if it is not with Covid-19 – to stay at home until their symptoms pass.
Gauci also said that only one person is currently in ITU, and that that person remains on the ventilator but is in a good state of health.