[WATCH] 49 new cases of COVID-19, including one child

49 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered overnight • One child who attended summer school among new cases • Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci returns to press briefings

49 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered overnight, according to figures released by the Health Ministry.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci later confirmed that one of the cases involved a child, who attended a summer school. Gauci was delivering a press briefing in what is to be a weekly appearance to update the nation on the COVID-19 situation.

Gauci said contact tracing of these cases was underway. This is the second highest single-day figure for new cases since the start of the pandemic in March.

Five more people have since recovered from the virus. The number of active cases now stands at 311.

Since the start of the pandemic in March, 675 people have recovered from the virus and nine patients have died.

OFFICIAL COVID-19 figures for 07•08•2020 Chris Fearne | MaltaGov | Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate

Posted by saħħa on Friday, August 7, 2020

In the past 24 hours, 1,717 swab tests were carried out. With a grand total of 138,430 tests having been carried out so far on the island.

In a meeting of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development on Thursday, social partners were informed that the number of COVID-19 cases had increased by 150% in one day, the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) said on Friday.

Government is facing growing criticism over its handling of the situation in the face of the latest surge of cases and the authorities' reluctance to ban mass events. New rules now limit the organisation of outdoor mass events to a maximum of 300 people and a maximum of 100 people if held indoors.

A €50 fine has also been introduced for those who do not wear a face mask in shops, on public transport and the Gozo ferry.

Robert Abela is also facing internal flak over his over-enthusiastic public calls to remain positive, despite widespread concerns that many fear are not adequately being addressed.

Four children were among 20 new cases registered on Thursday.

Gauci said the recent increase in cases necessitated the introduction of new measures to control the situation.

She avoided addressing directly question as to whether Malta should declare a public health emergency given the current numbers. Gauci said health officials were continuously monitorring the situation and decisions will be taken accordingly.

Gauci urged people to continue obeying social distancing measures, wear masks and called on entertainment venues to cooperate with health inspectors.

Identifiable clusters:

  • Radisson Hotel Takeover party: 20 cases
  • Paceville bars: 33 cases
  • Language school: 14 cases
  • Santa Venera feast: 33 cases
  • Summer schools: 5 cases

More in National