Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said today 13 new cases of Coronavirus were recorded in Malta in the last 24 hours, for a total of 412.
Four of the new cases are of migrants at Hal Far; the rest were locally transmitted in the community, with a 96-year-old woman taking over as the oldest person to be recorded with the virus in Malta so far.
Gauci said that 38 patients recovered, for a total of 82.
Giving more statistics regarding the cases registered until 12pm yesterday – 402 (10 cases lower than the overall figure), Gauci said 229 were men and 173 were women. The age group which has been hit the worst is that of people aged between 20 and 34.
The north harbour region has the most cases, 142, while 95 were from the south east, 64 from the north, 42 from the south harbour, 39 from the west and 20 in Gozo. Gauci said this refers to the place of residence, and does not mean that the patients necessarily contracted the disease in the area where they reside.
Of the patients recorded in the last 24 hours, four were of migrants at Hal Far – they are two men from Sudan aged 38 and 23, a man from Bangladesh aged 40 and a 33-year-old man from Gambia.
Gauci said that the increase in the number of positive cases means that the quarantine at the centre, which was to end on Sunday, will have to be extended.
The other nine cases included three foreigners, a 28-year-old man from Sri Lanka, a 58-year-old man from England and a 38-year-old man from Gambia. The Sri Lankan case is related to another positive case registered earlier this week, while the Englishman went to hospital with an unrelated issue and tested positive, without having symptoms. The Gambian man last worked yesterday and a contact tracing exercise is in place to see who was in contact with him in the last few days.
The 96-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties; at first she tested negative but a subsequent test resulted positive. She is now in isolation and a contact tracing exercise is taking place.
A health care worker at St Vincent de Paule home for the elderly, a 29-year-old woman, also contracted the disease, but she was already in quarantine.
A 46-year-old woman also tested positive, with Gauci saying that although she was not working in a shop, she was taking deliveries to third parties. Gauci said that people receiving deliveries of good should either leave them untouched for a few days or else use a cloth with water and soap to clean them.
The other three cases are a 60-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both of whom were not working and were only in touch with relatives, and a 44-year-old man who was on duty and as such a risk assessment exercise is taking place.
Two patients in ITU; one still on a ventilator
The Malta Independent asked regarding the condition of the two patients at the ITU. Gauci said that one is still on a ventilator and that the other is being monitored. She said the one-month baby who tested positive last week is doing well.
When asked whether all patients and carers at elderly home are being tested, Gauci did not specify, but highlighted that the hygiene practices are important. “A number of elderly homes are undergoing lockdown and all the careers were tested before going into the homes.”
Gozo hotel worker tested positive worked in the same hotel which elderly residents are to be transferred
Gauci confirmed that a clerk who tested positive in Gozo worked in the same hotel which elderly residents are to be transferred to from Dar Sant’ Anna. “Since then, the whole hotel has been disinfected and after analysing the situation, we are now satisfied that the elderly residents could be moved there, which is now happening,” Gauci said.
Quarantine likely to extend at Hal Far migrant centre
As of Thursday, there are now 33 cases at the Hal Far Open Centre, and when asked whether quarantine would be extended after its two-week duration expires on Sunday, Gauci said that the situation is constantly being reviewed. “It is clear now that from the tests, people are being infected and that most likely, yes quarantine will be extended.”
When asked about Europe easing restrictions, Gauci said the authorities are constantly assessing the situation to see what is best for Malta.