[WATCH] Girl, 5, dies while positive with COVID but cause of death still unclear

The five-year-old girl tested negative upon her admission to hospital, but tested ‘mildly positive’ during a second test • Magisterial inquiry under way

Health Minister Chris Fearne
Health Minister Chris Fearne

The health authorities are investigating the death of a five-year-old girl who died while testing "mildly positive" to COVID-19.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said the girl died on Saturday, having developed a fever on Friday. She was admitted to Mater Dei Hospital in critical condition, and was intubated and put on a ventilator.

She was administered CPR, but died shortly after. The five-year-old was not attending summer school.

Fearne said that a magisterial inquiry is underway. Should the death be attributed to COVID-19, it would be the 421st coronavirus fatality of the pandemic.

Breakdown of cases

Giving a breakdown of this week’s new cases, the health minister said only 15% of active cases are Maltese citizens, with the majority being foreigners.

“The Indian variant (Delta) is in the community,” he said. “Vaccines are the best protection against the variant.”

Active cases have shot up to 782 after 154 new cases were recorded on Tuesday from 3,353 swab tests.

He said the majority of active cases are under 30s.

Fearne also said that there are currently seven patients in hospital, but only one is in the ITU. He was not vaccinated.

22 Delta variants have been detected, but the figure does not take in consideration recent cases due to the genome sequencing, which takes a number of days to be carried out.

The minister said that 84% of the adult population has received the first vaccine dose, while 80% are fully vaccinated.

The breakdown of the vaccines is as follows: Pfizer/BioNTech (60% of all vaccines administered), AstraZeneca (25%), Moderna (8%) and Johnson & Johnson (7%).

He also said that as of next Monday, walk-in vaccination clinics around Malta, and a mobile clinic will be open to the public. Anyone without an appointment can get the jab.


After the health minister announced new restrictions last Friday, he said that a legal notice would be published in the coming hours. Fearne defended the decision, which sparked criticism from the European Commission for being “discriminatory” towards unvaccinated citizens. Fearne said that while the majority of citizens are vaccinated, it was important to ensure that anyone entering Malta is similarly protected.

Family appeals for public to stop speculating

The family of the deceased 5-year-old has called on the public to stop speculating and “wait for the test results”.

The appeal was made by her cousin Eman Cilia in a Facebook post.

"Please, stop making up things about my five-year-old cousin. Will you please wait for the forensic tests like us?" he asked in a Facebook post. “Instead of making up things, pray that God helps us deal with this loss."