[WATCH] 31 new coronavirus cases found overnight, three people in ITU

31 new coronavirus cases found overnight, bringing the number of active cases to 505 • 54 patients recovered, including 44 migrants • 2,315 swab tests carried out in the last 24 hours

Malta has registered 31 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, according to the latest figures released by the Health Ministry.

Giving a breakdown of the figures in her weekly medical bulletin, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said three people were being kept at Mater Dei Hospital’s intensive therapy unit.

The three ITU patients were suffering from pneumonia as a secondary infection of COVID-19 and one had to be placed on a ventilator. Gauci said the patients were, a 71-year-old female with no underlying medical condition, who is on oxygen, a 53-year-old female with no underlying medical condition, who also needed oxygen, and a 63-year-old male, who suffered from diabetes and hypertension, and who has been placed on a ventilator.

Gauci said eight patients and four nurses at Mount Carmel Hospital tested positive over the past week, a situation that has led to 77 healthcare workers from the hospital being placed in quarantine.

  • Most patients are recovering at home but 5 are at Mater Dei's infectious diseases unit, 3 at ITU, 16 at Boffa Hospital, 13 at St Thomas Hospital and 8 at Mount Carmel Hospital.
  • Since 4 July, the health authorities have recorded these clusters: 20 Radisson hotel party; 33 Paceville; 14 language school; 3 summer school; 4 sports activities; 5 factory; 29 family clusters; 12 workplace; 33 Santa Venera feast.
  • 1,200 people in quarantine
  • Healthcare workers in quarantine: 77 from Mount Carmel, 56 from Mater Dei, 7 from Karin Grech, 2 from Gozo General Hospital and 1 from primary healthcare

Overnight, 54 people, including 44 migrants, had recovered, bringing the total number of active cases to 505.

In the past 24 hours, 2,135 swab tests were carried out. Since the start of the pandemic, 152,087 tests having been carried out so far on the island.

Asked by Maltatoday regarding the unique situation of Paceville; due to the fact that people rarely stay at one particular club for the entire night, Gauci said it was the responsibility of everyone to ensure that the virus did not spread. She reminded the public to remain vigilant, to respect social distancing as well as to stay home if feeling unwell.

In regards to not calling a public health emergency, Gauci said regardless of whether a health emergency was called Malta had the capacity to handle the virus. 

Gauci also noted that the positive experience seen at summer schools, coupled with the fact that the spread of COVID-19 was low in children, gave a good indication that the government would be going ahead with its plans to reopen schools. 

Gauci said that the number of elderly persons contracting the virus was increasing and urged all vulnerable persons to remain vigilant and protect themselves.

She said new measures to protect vulnerable people in care homes and hospitals have been introduced such as reducing visiting hours and regular swab tests at care homes. No visitors are currently allowed at Mount Carmel Hospital, where an outbreak saw eight patients and four healthcare workers contract COVID-19.

Gauci reiterated that masks are mandatory inside retail outlets, on public transport, on the Gozo ferry, at the airport and a sea terminal.

This week two new swab centres were also opened one at St Thomas Hospital and the other at St James Hospital in Burmarrad.