[WATCH] 143 new cases, 201 recoveries • 616 people have received second vaccine dose

COVID-19 update for 22 January | 3 deaths for a total of 248 • 143 new cases, 201 recoveries • 2,740 active cases • Swab tests past 24 hours 3,111 • Vaccine doses administered till Thursday 16,531

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Malta has registered 143 new cases of COVID-19 overnight and 201 recoveries.

Three women aged 92, 93 and 100, died while positive with COVID-19. The death toll from the virus now stands at 248.

The seven-day moving average of new cases now stands at 172 cases per day, Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said on Friday in her weekly pandemic update. This represents a slight drop from the previous week.

The number of vaccines administered until yesterday stood at 16,531. Gauci said 616 people had received both doses of the vaccine so far. The second dose started being administered earlier this week.

Gauci said 179 people were being treated in hospitals for COVID-19.

People with COVID-19 in hospitals: 18 Mater Dei ITU • 9 MDH Infectious Diseases Unit • 43 Other wards MDH • 11 Boffa Hospital • 10 St Thomas Hospital • 12 Karen Grech Rehabilitation Hospital • 57 Good Samaritan Hospital • 4 Mount Carmel Hospital • 14 Gozo General Hospital • 1 Gozo ITU

Gauci said five homes for the elderly had clusters of cases and in those home where singular cases arise, elderly people are being immediately shifted to the Good Samaritan Hospital.

The average age of people with COVID-19 now stands at 39.6 with the largest cohort of positive cases over the past week resulting among those aged between 25 and 34.

COVID variant

Gauci said so far only three cases of the UK variant have been detected in Malta. She said that every week, genetic testing of viruses from 20 positive cases is being carried out in Maltese labs to determine whether variants are present. This testing rate for variants is expected to increase.

Gauci said that the principle reason for the current surge in cases was the result of gatherings over the Christmas and New Year festivities.

She skirted questions as to whether the health authorities will be tightening restrictions over the coming weeks and avoided addressing the proposal put forward by the Medical Association of Malta for the introduction of a weekend curfew until 9pm for a couple of weeks.

More in National