[WATCH] COVID-19: Two deaths, 164 new cases and 165 recoveries

COVID-19 update for 12 February | 2 deaths for a total of 288 • 164 new cases • 165 recoveries • 2,398 active cases • Swab tests past 24 hours 2,873 • Vaccine doses administered till Thursday 46,344, including 13,820 second doses

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Malta registered 164 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, with the number of active cases now standing at 2,398.

Two new deaths were registered - an 84-year-old man who died at Karin Grech Hospital and an 82-year-old woman who died at Mater Dei Hospital.

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci during her weekly media briefing said the 7-day moving average of new cases now stood at 151 per day with the majority of new cases falling between the ages of 25 and 34.

Gauci said a number of clusters were being traced back to football nurseries and urged organisations providing extra-curricular activities to adhere to mitigation measures. "We discussed safety protocols with Sports Malta and these should be adhered to. Just as we tell parents not send sick children to school, children should not attend extra curricular activities if they are unwell," Gauci said.

She said that 157 patients were recovering in hospitals, including 17 who are being treated at Mater Dei Hospital's intensive therapy unit.

Key numbers: Average of 151 new cases per day over the past week • 38 cases of the UK COVID varient detected in Malta • 17 patients being treated at ITU • 13,820 have received second vaccine dose

There are also 6,238 people in quarantine, including those who have to stay at home as a precautionary measure.

There was a marked improvement in homes for the elderly with only three homes registering positive cases over the past week. Gauci said this was due to mitigation measures and the fact that all residents in these homes had received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gauci said that all airports in France, Germany and Greece were now placed in the amber list, which means that anybody arriving to Malta from these countries would have to provide a negative coronavirus test result.

She stressed the importance of social distancing and masks being worn, even by those who have received the vaccine. She appealed on people not meet with others outside their households, especially during the carnival holidays.

The latest vaccination data shows that 13,820 people were administered the second dose by Thursday.

Secondary frontliners such as police and army personnel were currently being inoculated and the third phase covering vulnerable people has now started.

Gauci said vulnerable people, including those who suffer from diabetes, are undergoing dialysis, receiving treatment for cancer, suffer from asthma and are receiving ongoing treatment for heart conditions, are gradually being invited to get their vaccine.

Malta has now started using the AstraZeneca vaccine alongside the Pfizer and Moderna ones. The AstraZeneca vaccine is being administered to people below 55.