[WATCH] COVID-19 briefing: Six new infections as active cases drop to 96

COVID-19 update for 21 May | 6 new cases • 10 recoveries • 96 active cases • 2,018 Swab tests past 24 hours • Vaccine doses administered until Thursday 453,711

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

Six new cases of COVID-19 were registered on Friday, the health ministry has said.

453,711 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered until Thursday. Of which, 164,113 are people who are fully vaccinated.

Total recoveries stand at 29,984, while total cases registered stand at 30,497.

There are 96 active COVID-19 cases.

No deaths were registered in the last 24-hours. 

The total number of deaths is 417.

2,018 swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of swabs to 906,618.

COVID-19 briefing 

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said the vaccination programme was going well and encouraged the public to get vaccinated.

Coverage rates by age

  • 60+ = 95% vaccinated
  • 50+ = 75% vaccinated
  • 40-49 = 69% vaccinated
  • 30-39 = 55% registered/vaccinated
  • 16-29 = 24% registered/vaccinated

Gauci said that four people were in the ITU at Mater Dei Hospital.  

Other admissions: 4 in infectious diseases unit • 0 in other wards • 2 in Gozo hospital (0 ITU) • 2 in Sir Paul Boffa hospital • 0 in St Thomas hospital •  0 in the Good Samaritan facility • o in Mount Carmel Hospital • 0 Karin Grech.

The seven-day moving average is three cases, and the positivity rate is now 0.1%. 

Gauci said that between 13-19 May, more than 1,900 tests were carried out on passengers arriving in Malta. 

She also reminded the public that mass events could not be held near pools.

Malta currently has five cases of the South African variant and 27 cases of the Brazilian variant. Currently, in Malta, the UK variant accounts for 48% of the cases on the island. 

Questions segment

In response to a question by MaltaToday regarding why the UK has not to been moved to the red list in light of the recent explosion of the Indian variant within the country, Gauci said Malta is monitoring the situation and will act accordingly in the best interest of the public. 

The UK is currently on the amber list, which means travel is permitted; however, passengers are required to present a PCR test performed no more than 72 hours before the flight. 

Gauci reminded the general public of the relaxation measures that will happen on 24 May like restaurants to open till midnight, pool and gyms to open also. Daycare centres will also open. No events are allowed, also in pools or pool areas.

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine for the age group between 12-16, Gauci said that the authorities are currently awaiting instructions from the European Medicines Agency about whether it can be given to this age group. 

When asked to confirm comments made by Valletta Cultural Agency chairman Jason Micallef on Facebook that open-air events would not be permitted until September, Gauci was non-committal and did not answer.

She reiterated that mass events would not take place and that the authorities were following the science. Gauci added that the authorities were going step by step to make sure the COVID-19 situation in Malta did not worse again. 

"It is not the time for mass activities at the moment, but we will move step by step and open up according to what is happening in our country and according to the criteria from experts," Gauci said.