Malta detects second case of Delta variant

Health Minister Chris Fearne says a second case of Delta variant in Malta does not appear to be imported and might have been contracted within the community 

A second case of the Delta variant has been detected in Malta, Health Minister Chris Fearne revealed on Wednesday. 

Fearne made the announcement during a press conference inaugurating a High Degree Isolation Unit at Mater Dei Hospital. 

Fearne said the second case of the variant, first discovered in India, was detected in recent days.

The health minister said those who had been in contact with the person did not test positive for the variant. However, they remain in isolation.

Fearne said that the case did not appear to be imported and that the person might have contracted the virus from the community.

Malta detected the first case of the Delta variant at the beginning of June.

Earlier in parliament, Fearne reiterated the importance of vaccinations to keep the COVID pandemic at bay as Europe braces itself for a fresh wave of infections prompted by the Delta variant

“In those countries where vaccinations are low, the Delta variant is wreaking havoc. In those countries where vaccinations are high, the Delta variant is a worrying factor… herd immunity with full vaccinations gives us protection against COVID, but the more there are contagious variants, the more it becomes necessary to increase the vaccination rate,” Fearne said.

He added that the health authorities have set themselves the target of inoculating 85% of all adults with both vaccine doses to strengthen herd immunity.

READ MORE: COVID-19 briefing: First case of Indian variant found in Malta