124 new coronavirus cases were registered over the past 24 hours, the health authorities announced on Wednesday.
The new cases were detected following 3043 swab tests. Also, 138 more individuals have recovered.
1392 cases remain active.
That's all for today. Thankyou for following the live blog.
Side effects of the vaccinations so far have been redness on the spot where the needle punctures the skin, and tiredness for 2 days. However, no side effects have been reported so far by Maltese people who have been vaccinated in the past few days.
So far, the new strain does not indicate an increase in the severity of the virus. It indicates a higher rate of transmission than usual.
The third case with the new Covid-19 strain is a 75-year-old woman, and investigations are ongoing as to how she contracted it.
Bars and local band clubs are to remain closed until 1st February.
She stated that feeling sick does not mean one should not take the vaccine, but if one has a high fever, one should wait for it to abate.
Children younger than 16 years old, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding cannot take the vaccine as not enough studies have been conducted on these groups.
People who have had allergic reactions to other vaccinations are urged to speak to their doctors prior to taking the Covid-19 vaccination.
Early in 2021, over 85s living in the community will be vaccinated.
Vaccinations in old people's homes and their carers will be next.
On vaccinations: Clinical settings will be tackled first, amongst which hospitals tackling Covid-19 cases.
1,573 rapid tests were conducted at the airport. 5 cases were found positive; from Italy, Austria and Poland.
Prof. Gauci reminded everyone about the importance of correct use of masks, and hygiene, particularly washing hands.
The majority of deaths are still males.
15 new deaths have been reported since the last press briefing.
There was an increase in cases from the previous week to this one.
The majority of cases this week were between the ages of 25 and 34.
87 cases are active in Gozo.
A cluster of 8 elderly people have been found positive following their attending bingo, and a dinner.
37 people were found positive following attending gatherings.
1 new death: 93-year-old woman. She was found positive on the 22nd of December.
The implications of this variant is that it has a transmission rate of 70% more than the Covid-19 strain we are used to.
3 cases are present in Malta with the new Covid-19 strain. 2 of them had just arrived from the UK and the other case is still being investigated. More genetic sequencing will ensue.
Welcome to the live blog.