Watch: More than 13,000 calls received on new Covid-19 helpline

More than 13,000 calls have been received by the newly launched 111 helpline in relation to the novel coronavirus, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Director Dr Paula Vassallo said when asked by Newsbook.com.mt.

Dr Vassallo confirmed that among the calls that have been received were from people staying at hotels. She explained that however, the data at this stage is still being collected and will be divulged at a later stage.

There have been swab tests requests from hotels but they have resulted negative.

Health authorities addressed a press briefing at the Foyer of the Infectious Disease Unit at Mater Dei Hospital. A team of health professionals with rolled-up sleeves and ties tucked into their shirts addressed the media. Prior to press briefing, the health authorities explained that the protocol is adopted by doctors at hospitals to minimise any transmission from patient to patient.

During the press briefing the health authorities kept the public updated about protective gear to be worn by health professionals, medical training as well as the condition of the three individuals who tested positive for covid-19.

Dr Chris Barbara the chairperson of the Pathology Department at Mater Dei Hospital said that unlike other days only two swab tests were carried out during Monday morning. Until the end of the press briefing it was then announced that both patients had tested negative.

The three individuals to test positive for covid-19 are in a stable condition, Dr Charles Mallia Azzopardi who heads the Infectious Disease Unit told the press. Asked what happens once they are close to being discharged, Dr Mallia Azzopardi told Newsbook.com.mt that there are various factors that one needs to take into consideration, including being subjected to another swab test before being discharged.

“One has to see their condition after recovery and where they would go to once discharged,” Dr Mallia Azzopardi replied. He added that once discharged they would have to go to a safe place.

The three Italian patients, a 12-year-old girl and her parents are in a stable condition. Doctors do not believe their condition will deteriorate. A discharge date has not been set, however.

The authorities said that all those who were in contact with the family have all been tested and the results were negative, when asked about the contact tracing process.

The media also had an opportunity to see the personal protective equipment available and a Senior Nurse from the Infectious Disease Unit demonstrated how to wear it.