Malta a country of ‘high concern’ for European body after COVID-19 spreads to elderly homes

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control deems the overall risk of COVID-19 in Malta to be 'high' for the general population and 'very high' for vulnerable persons

With an outbreak of coronavirus cases in elderly homes, Malta is now considered to be a country of 'high concern' by the ECDC
With an outbreak of coronavirus cases in elderly homes, Malta is now considered to be a country of 'high concern' by the ECDC

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has described Malta as a country of "high concern" in the latest report on COVID-19 transmission in the EU.

Malta joins Spain, Bulgaria, and several other countries in a sub-group of countries with trends of high concerns. These trends include high or increasing notification rates in older cases and an increased proportion of hospitalised and severe cases.

"In these countries, increasing or high death notification rates are already observed (as of 13 September, in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Malta, Romania and Spain), or may be observed soon," the report highlights.

The ECDC recommends continued use of strict non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing to help control the COVID-19 epidemic. NPIs are among the most effective methods for inhibiting virus spread, and the ECDC noted its effectiveness in controlling the epidemic during spring this year.

"In these countries, even with a timely and strict implementation of NPIs, the overall risk of COVID-19 is assessed as high for the general population and very high for vulnerable individuals," the report says.

Malta is seeing a sudden rise in virus-related deaths after COVID-19 spread through some elderly homes, namely St Joseph Home in Fgura and Casa Antonia in Balzan.

Malta registered two new deaths from coronavirus today, bringing the total number of victims to 27. On Thursday, 42 new cases were registered and 18 recoveries, bringing the total number of active cases to date at 680.

READ ALSO: Almost half of St Joseph Home elderly residents test positive for COVID-19

More in National