[WATCH] Five new COVID-19 cases and two more recoveries registered overnight

Five new coronavirus cases registered overnight, brining total to 558, with 456 recoveries

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Five new COVID-19 cases have been registered overnight, while another two persons have recovered.

This brings the total number of cases up to 558, with 456 recoveries, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said.

The new cases were recoreded after 1,017 swab tests were carried out in the past 24 hours. There are currently 96 coronavirus cases which are active.

READ ALSO | Charmaine Gauci's COVID-19 updates will now take place three times a week

The new cases:

  • A 97-year-old Maltese man who is a patient as Karin Grech Hospital. The elderly man has pre-existing medical conditions, but is currently stable. A follow-up of all patients and staff who had contact with him is taking place
  • A 58-year-old foreign man who had no symptoms but was tested after being admitted to the hospital's emergency department for unrelated reasons
  • A 34-year-old Maltese woman who is a healthcare worker.
  • A foreign woman, 24, who works as a carer
  • A 41-year-old foreign man who had no symptoms but voluntarily went to the testing hub for a test

Gauci also said that 287 healthcare workers are currently in quarantine. "This is a substantial number, but it's important that whenever a healthcare worker tests positive or has contact with someone who is positive, that there is no further contact with other staff or patients," she said.

Decision to open restauranst came after risk assessment

Asked about the government's decision to open restaurants - amongst other businesses - later this week, Gauci said this had come after a risk assessment was carried out.

She said that the health authorities had evaluated the level of risk based on a number of criteria, and insisted that it was safe to go to eat out in restaurants once they reopened, as long as the establishments follow all the precautions which they will be obliged to as part of the instruction which the government will issue.

On whether vulnerable people would be able to go to restaurants, Gauci said that the such persons should only go to places where they would be safe. They should also do what is necessary to ensure they are protected from catching the virus, she said, without going into details.

Gauci's comments come after the doctors' union said today that they were very concerned about Prime Minister Robert Abela's decision to reopen restaurants.

Option of opening country to tourism still has to be evaluated

Questioned by MaltaToday on her reaction to the nurses' union's warning on Sunday that reopening Malta's borders to tourism would be a sure way of causing a second wave of COVID-19, Gauci said a decision on the matter was still premature.

"The way we are lifting measures is based on a risk assessment of the situation in Malta. This does not mean we should open the airport imminently. We are going step by step," she said.

"We must keep following the situation locally and abroad and continue to evaluate things," Gauci added.

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