Watch: Gozitan, 92, dies of COVID-19

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A 92-year-old woman from Gozo has become the first casualty to COVID-19. The passing away of the woman was announced within a few hours by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne who addressed a press conference on Wednesday evening together with the Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci.

Dr Fearne expressed the government’s condolences saying that he was confirming the first death with a heavy heart. He appealed to the public to avoid gathering at home with people outside those who live together in the same residence. He stressed that it is important to continue abiding the health instructions to avoid spreading the virus within the community.

Professor Charmaine Gauci said that while the patient had underlying health conditions, the news was saddening. She expressed the team’s condolences to the family.

20:05 Thank you for following this live blog.
Monique Agius
20:02 Apparently there was a technical fault and the zoom session expired.
Monique Agius
20:01 Question: How did the woman contract the virus?

Prof. Gauci: The woman was living in an institution and there were many ways how the virus could have been carried, including via visitors.
Monique Agius
20:00 Question: Do you have a message for the elderly?

Fearne: My message is not only for the elderly but also for their relatives and neighbours. Keep in touch. Call them. Message them. Let's avoid gathering, but this does not mean we do not support one another through alternative means.
Monique Agius
19:58 Question: Now that we have the first death. How important it is to abide by the instructions?

Fearne: We're doing all that is possible. We need the public to cooperate with the health authorities – and avoid meeting and gathering in big groups.

Prof. Gauci: We are trying to keep the numbers down. The measures in place are the best way to cope with the situation at hand.
Monique Agius
19:56 Question: have the elderly at Dar Sant'Anna at the Gozo General Hospital?

Fearne: Some days ago we had an agreement with Steward Health Care to move the elderly around mid-April. The plan is to transfer the patients from Dar Sant'Anna to the new residence.
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19:56 'It is important that you abide by our instructions.' Professor Gauci says.
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19:54 'This is a sad day for us and the whole team. We felt it,' Professor Charmaine Gauci says.

'We wanted to avoid this. We do understand that elderly people might have chronic illnesses, and when vulnerable people contract the virus it may have fatal consequences,' she says.
Monique Agius
19:53 'Meeting the extended family at your home will have the same consequences as meeting your extended family outside,' Fearne points out.

He urges against meeting the extended family over Easter weekend.
Monique Agius
19:51 The Health Minister reiterates that collective effort is needed. He says that this weekend is Easter Sunday. He urges people not to meet over Easter.

'By and large the majority of the public has understood, why we are taking these measures,' Fearne says.
Monique Agius
19:50 The government had two options either safeguard public health or safeguard the economy, Dr Fearne says. He lists the number of measures taken to safeguard the health of each and every individual living on the island.
Monique Agius
19:50 The government had two options either safeguard public health or safeguard the economy, Dr Fearne says. He lists the number of measures taken to safeguard the health of each and every individual living on the island.
Monique Agius
19:49 Dr Fearne highlights that vulnerable people are most at risk. Those who suffer from chronic illnesses, those aged 65 and over. Pregnant women are considered also vulnerable since we do not know the impact of the virus, Dr Fearne says.
Monique Agius
19:48 The health minister expresses his condolences to the victim's family.

'Unfortunately, this will not be the first nor the last death related to COVID-19. We're doing the best to ensure that the number of people that contract the virus remains low,' Dr Fearne says.
Monique Agius
19:47 'We know that COVID-19 can give rise to complications and can lead to death,' Fearne says.
Monique Agius
19:47 The woman was a vulnerable person with a number of health related issues.
Monique Agius
19:45 Health Minister Chris Fearne announces the first COVID-19 death. A woman 92-year-old from Gozo who had tested positive to covid-19. The woman passed away at the Gozo General Hospital.
Monique Agius
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19:39 Good evening and welcome to this Newsbook.com.mt live blog.
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On Wednesday six new cases were reported by Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci during the daily press briefing. Among the new cases is a one-month-old baby. One of the new cases was travel related. A total of 993 swab tests were carried out overnight. So far, 299 coronavirus cases have been informed in Malta.