[WATCH] Malta registers 19 new cases of coronavirus, total goes up to 129 cases

81-year-old man is among 19 new cases of coronavirus registered overnight • Charmaine Gauci reiterates appeal for people to stay home

Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci
Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci

Malta has registered 19 new cases of coronavirus, with local transmission overtaking imported cases for the first time since the outbreak.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said eight of the new cases involved people who contracted the virus abroad, while four contracted the virus in Malta but are linked to known cases of coronavirus. Another seven cases involve people who contracted the infection locally but no obvious link has yet been established.

The total number of cases so far is 129 including two have completely recovered from the infection.

One of the new cases involves an 81-year-old man, who is stable and is being kept at Mater Dei Hospital's Infectious Disease Unit.

Gauci said the 61-year-old who had been admitted to hospital's intensive care unit (ITU) is unstable but not critical. All other cases are doing well, and in many instances people are experiencing light symptoms.

Gauci reiterated her appeal for everyone to obey social distancing and stay at home, especially elderly people, who could be more vulnerable to developing complications.

She said that while generally people were obeying the instructions to stay indoors, there were still some who gathered in village squares. She insisted that the numbers were expected to continue increasing but social distancing would help to avoid sharp spikes.

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