Ministry calls out In-Nazzjon on news report claiming swine flu at Mater Dei

PN organ In-Nazzjon quotes unnamed sources claiming that an unknown number of patients at Mater Dei Hospital are suffering from "N1H1" virus

There are zero patients with H1N1 virus at Mater Dei Hospital, the Health Ministry said in a statement
There are zero patients with H1N1 virus at Mater Dei Hospital, the Health Ministry said in a statement

The Ministry for Health has denied that patients have been admitted to Mater Dei Hospital suffering from the H1N1 virus – more commonly known as swine flu – denying reports carried by PN organ in-Nazzjon.

The newspaper referred to it as "N1H1".

Dubbing the report “fake news”, the Ministry for Health called out in-Nazzjon for disseminating “fake news with the sole intent to create alarm”. The ministry insisted that, since October, there have been 110 confirmed cases of influenza, of H3 type. 

The Ministry said that the current influx of patients at Mater Dei Hospital was the result of seasonal influenza, caused by the cold spell and “demographic changes”. It went on to add that a record 70,000 members of the general public have taken the flu vaccine. The health authorities encouraged those who have not yet taken the vaccine to do so as soon as possible.

“The Nationalist opposition should be more sensitive towards the needs of the people and avoid creating unnecessary alarm in such delicate times,” it said, as it reported that health professionals were working hard to meet patients’ demands.

The allegations, published prominently today by in-Nazzjon, accused the government of “hiding” cases of H1N1 (which the newspaper also reported as N1H1) and of failing to provide “isolated care” to patients allegedly suffering from the virus.

In-Nazzjon said the number of affected patients was unknown.

In a reaction to the Health Ministry's statement, the Nationalist Party insisted that the government had “lost control of the crisis” at Mater Dei Hospital. “Chris Fearne is only focused on the sale of Karin Grech Hospital, St Luke’s and the Gozo General Hospital – a deal which stinks of corruption,” the PN said.

It also questioned whether Mater Dei CEO Ivan Falzon had resigned his post “during these moments of crises”. Contacted by MaltaToday, Falzon confirmed that he was still the CEO of Mater Dei.

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