Watch: 9 new COVID-19 cases announced

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci announced nine new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon during the daily press briefing. A total of 1,051 swab tests were made during the past 24 hours.

In brief:

  • Nine new coronavirus cases confirmed
  • Three patients are residents at Ħal Far ‘Tent Village’
  • A total of 19,121 swab tests have been carried out since the outbreak
  • 19 healthcare workers from Mater Dei are among the 393 positive cases
  • While the trend line is still upward, the rate is “good”
13:07 Thank you for following us
Monique Agius
13:05 Prof. Gauci reiterates that the measures are in place to curb local transmission. She highlights that our R Factor is still above 1.
Monique Agius
13:04 Gozo General Hospital:

There's an isolation unit at the Gozo General Hospital. With regards to PPE, it is given according to the risk the healthcare worker is exposed to.
Monique Agius
13:00 How many healthcare workers have tested positive so far? Has this impacted the healthcare services?

There were 19 healthcare workers from Mater Dei Hospital that have tested positive for coronavirus. She says that the employees are in the community and can contract the virus from there. She stresses the importance of identifying cases as early as possible.
Monique Agius
12:57 On Corradino Correctional Facility:
Prof Gauci mentions a number of initiatives that have been taken by the management to reduce the possible spread of coronavirus.
Monique Agius
12:57 Two people remain in intensive care. One remains breathing through the help of a ventilator.
Monique Agius
12:53 What is Malta's R factor?
The R factor is the rate of transmission.
The R0 of the virus is 2.2 according to international studies. From our studies and data modeling our RT is at 1.5, Professor Gauci says. The health authorities are aiming at reducing this.

The Medicines' Authority and the MCCAA are currently working and assessing the raising of prices of medicines. She explains that the coronavirus outbreak has caused various disruptions.
Monique Agius
12:51 On the anti-body tests:
We've got the anti-body kits but concerns have been raised about their validity. We're currently testing them, Prof. Gauci says.
Monique Agius
12:48 Are the results being given to the patients within 24 hours?
Prof. Gauci: Our labs are doing 4 to 5 runs a day. It depends at what time the result comes out. We are giving out the result over SMS, emails or via phone. Tests are being published on one's MyHealth.

It's important to give us the correct details, Prof. Gauci reminds the public.
Monique Agius
12:46 Is Malta flattening the curve?
Prof. Gauci says that the numbers are fluctuating greatly due to Malta's population size. She explains that the authorities would look at the trend line. The rate of infection is being kept at bay.
Monique Agius
12:44 Another question concerns cleaners working at Mount Carmel Hospital working closely to patients who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Prof. Gauci says that employees working closely to covid-19 patients are given the necessary PPE.

About the transferring of patients; those who come into contact as tested and screened.
Monique Agius
12:42 Question time.

The first question concerns the publishing of a legal notice which would criminalize the willful spread of coronavirus and which is punishable by up to 9 years imprisonment.

Professor Gauci that this is still being discussed.

On Marsa Open Centre, Prof. Gauci explains that there is symptom screening to identify the cases as early as possible.
Monique Agius
12:41 The Superintendent of Public Health delivers a summary in English for non-Maltese speakers. She highlights that these cases were of local transmission.
Monique Agius
12:40 Professor Gauci stresses that the contingency plan is to continue isolating people at the open centre.
Monique Agius
12:39 The migrants are from Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Sudan. Twenty swab tests were carried out in Ħal Far 'Tent Village'. The people were isolated at the open centre in the field hospital set up by Red Cross.
Monique Agius
12:35 Case details
Maltese man, 71, a pensioner

Maltese woman, 50, who has developed symptoms over the past days.

Man, 48, who has developed symptoms over the past days.

Woman, 34, who is an Indian carer working at an old people's home. The home where she works is under lockdown. She was swabbed and tested positive before returning to work.

Man, 30, contact tracing underway.

British woman, 23, who resides in Malta. The woman had gone to work a day before developing the symptoms. Contact tracing underway at her workplace.

Three more residents from Ħal Far 'Tent Village' have tested positive.
Monique Agius
12:26 1051 swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours with 9 resulting positive, Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci announces.

19,121 swab tests have been carried out so far.
Monique Agius
12:00 Good afternoon and welcome to live blog.
Monique Agius

On Monday, the Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci announced that out of 1,008 swab tests carried out 6 have turned out to be positive for coronavirus.

Since 7 March a total of 384 cases have been recorded.