Covid-19: Two under 45-year-olds in intensive care

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

There are currently two patients aged between 35 and 45 years old in intensive care, as the number of coronavirus patients increased to nine at ITU. The information was divulged

Public Health Consultant Dr Tanya Mellilo said that at present there are two people within that age bracket in intensive care, while the president of the Medical Association of Malta Dr Martin Balzan said that the number of patients in intensive care has gone up to nine.

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Both Dr Mellilo and Dr Balzan were interviewed during a special edition of Newsbook Q&A hosted by editor-in-chief Sylvana Debono and Fr Joe Borg after a new daily record of infections was registered on Saturday when 204 cases were detected overnight.

On Friday, Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci only disclosed that six patients are in intensive care and that they are under 72 years of age without delving into the age brackets. This means that in 24 hours the number of patients in intensive care has increased.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses warned that there are not enough health care workers trained to work at the ITU despite the number of beds and ventilators available. During the programme, Dr Mellilo warned that the health care system cannot cope if infections continue to rise, adding that nurses from other wards are being trained to relieve those working in intensive care.

During the special edition of the programme, Dr Martin Balzan warned that Malta is sailing into unchartered territory, adding that if the infections continue to double the country is risking a collapse of its intensive care unit and emergency department.

Too little, too late?

The government announced new restrictive measures on Friday evening after 122 coronavirus cases were announced during the day. The Medical Association of Malta lambasted the ‘fake’ enforcement by the government as it welcomed some of the measures announced.

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Commenting on the measures, Dr Mellilo remarked that these were not enough adding that the measures have been implemented too late in the day. Malta is no longer in control of the situation, the public health consultant stated, adding that the department was shocked on Saturday morning when Malta registered a total of 204 cases overnight. She remarked that it will take the department three days to trace the contacts of all the cases registered on Saturday while new cases continue to pile up. In some cases, a person who tests positive for coronavirus, is leading to an additional fifty in mandatory quarantine for having been in contact with them.

Dr Balzan remarked that the virus will not wait for the government to impose measures, noting that with stretched resources the hospital would have to reduce non urgent treatment. When the numbers are increasing so fast, health needs to become a priority, Dr Balzan underlined.

Explaining that the effects of the restrictive measures will be felt in a week, Dr Balzan said that if the compulsory wearing of masks does not work, the government would have to consider measures such as lock downs or curfews.

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