[WATCH] COVID-19 briefing: First case of Indian variant found in Malta

COVID-19 update for 4 June | 2 new cases • 4 recoveries • 74 active cases • 2,545 Swab tests past 24 hours • Vaccine doses administered until Thursday 541,175

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci
Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci

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

541,178 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered until Thursday. Of which 226,341 people are fully vaccinated. 

Total recoveries stand at 30,066, while total cases registered stand at 30,559.

There are 74 active COVID-19 cases.

No deaths were registered in the last 24-hours.

The total number of deaths is 419.

2,545 swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of swabs to 936,409.

COVID-19 briefing 

Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci said the vaccine programme was going well. She said parents who want their children under 16 to be vaccinated earlier should approach the authorities at [email protected] 

Coverage rates by age for second dose:

  • 85+ = 100%
  • 80+ = 93%
  • 70+ = 89%
  • 60+ = 77%
  • 50-59 = 45%
  • 40-49 = 59%
  • 30-39 = 42%
  • 16-29 = 24%

Gauci said that there were no cases in the ITU at Mater Dei Hospital.  

Other admissions: 1 in infectious diseases unit • 1 in other wards • 0 in Gozo hospital (0 ITU) • 0 in Sir Paul Boffa hospital • 0 in St Thomas hospital •  0 in the Good Samaritan facility • 0 in Mount Carmel Hospital • 0 Karin Grech.

In terms of the COVID-19 variants, she said that 3.7% of the cases were the Gamma variant (Brazilian), 47% were the Alpha variant (UK), 48.6% were the original strain, and 0.7% were the Beta variant (South African).

Gauci also announced that Malta had registered its first case of the Delta variant (Indian) on the island. She added that more information would be given at a later date. 

The 7-day moving average is five cases, and the average age of the cases found was 32 years.

Gauci said the majority of cases were sporadic. 10 cases are from households, seven cases were imported, and four cases resulted from social gatherings.

Questions segment 

Asked about the Delta variant (Indian), Gauci said according to the WHO; it is being considered a variant of concern. 

Gauci also reminded travellers that the strategy at the Malta International Airport has changed. Passengers must provide a PCR test or have a valid vaccination certificate.

Gauci said that 95% of people had arrived with the correct documentation in the first two days. However, regarding the 5% of those who managed to travel without the right documentation, Gauci said they were tested once in Malta and quarantined until the results were out.

She also added that talks were underway with airlines to ensure that it didn't happen again. Gauci said during this past week, no positive cases were found coming in through the airport.

Gauci also said that in June, the only mass activities allowed are weddings and religious events in churches.

She also confirmed that Malta's vaccine certificate could only be issued to people who were given both doses in Malta.

READ MORE: Forget the Indian variant, it's Delta now: why WHO is using Greek letters to name COVID mutations