[WATCH] 75 new coronavirus cases as Malta grapples with fresh surge in infections

COVID-19 update for 9 October | 75 new cases, 31 recoveries • 625 active cases • Swab tests past 24 hours 2,732 • Total cases since March 3,581, including 41 deaths • 9 patients in ITU, including one aged between 35 and 39

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Malta has registered 75 new COVID-19 cases overnight as it grapples with a surge in infections.

There were 31 recoveries, bringing the number of active cases to 625. The high number of new cases follows two days in a row when new cases surpassed 60.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said the seven-day average of new cases had now surged to 60 cases per day.

Gauci said family and work clusters continued to be the primary cause of contagion. She urged families to limit mixing of households and workplaces to adopt safety measures.

She said that nine patients were recovering at Mater Dei Hospital's Intensive Therapy Unit, seven at the hospital's Infectious Diseases Unit, nine patients in other COVID-prepared wards at Mater Dei, 12 at Boffa Hospital, 18 at St Thomas Hospital and one at Karen Grech Hospital.

The ages of those in ITU are as follows: 3 patients aged between 70 and 75, 3 patients between 65 and 69, 2 patients between 55 and 59, and one aged between 35 and 39.

1,776 tests were performed at the Malta International Airport this week, which saw six positive cases - five were from France, and one was from the Czech Republic.

St Vincent de Paul ward all positive

Gauci confirmed that all elderly residents bar one at the St Joseph Ward in St Vincent de Paul home for the elderly, had tested positive for COVID-19 and were being kept in isolation.

She said 17 residents tested positive following an earlier outbreak.

Contact tracing 

Gaci said that as soon as they saw the number of cases increasing, they strengthened the team with doctors from Mater Dei Hospital. She said everyone needed to cooperate so that the time taken to investigate these cases is less.  

Migrants in detention

There are currently seven migrants in detention who remain positive with coronavirus. They form part of several groups of migrants who disembarked in Malta over the past months and who were in isolation from day one.

Free seasonal influenza vaccine

Gauci said the seasonal influenza vaccine will start being available for free from Sunday for all those aged 55 and over, children between six months and five years and those who suffer from chronic diseases. From 1 November, the seasonal influenza vaccine will be available for free for everyone else.

Public’s responsibility to wear masks  

Gauci said the problem was that several measures were not being followed by people. On enforcement, she said the public is responsible. She said that it is common sense and that it was every person’s responsibility to wear masks. She said it was not up to the police or LESA.