Watch: Lockdown for people aged 65+ and for those with medical conditions

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Additional reporting by Monique Agius

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced two new measures to avoid and limit the risk of coronavirus transmission.

One of the new measures is that social gatherings of more than five people will not be allowed. Police will be delegated to disperse such gatherings. This measure comes into effect immediately.

The other measure is aimed at those most vulnerable. People aged over 65 and people under 65 years of age with medical conditions will not be allowed to go out at any point.

All the people who live with those aged over 65 need to find alternative accommodation or put themselves in isolation.

Insulin dependent diabetics, Chemotherapy patients, people with respiratory problems, people with heart problems or went under surgery during the last six months, people who are receiving HIV treatment, heart failure patients and people who are taking steroids as prescribed to them and pregnant women are not allowed to go out of their homes.

The lockdown applies for over 118,000 people.

All those who fall in these categories will be receiving a letter at home with all the instructions.

These two new measures will come into effect as from Saturday.

Coronavirus Malta 26.03.20

Asked by if the government has identified a location for the prefabricated hospital that government will build in a few weeks, Minister Fearne said that the government has identified a car park close to Mater Dei Hospital.

Minister Fearne said that the coronavirus pattern is shifting from travel related to local transmission phase. He also said that we are still at the very early stages of the epidemic and the situations will continue changing.

He also said that the Maltese health authorities are following what measures are being taken in hospitals in other countries.

Fearne also said that he asked that the number of beds designated for COVID-19 cases to increase in Gozo. Till to date, the number of beds in the ITU in Gozo is 11

Earlier on Thursday, a cabinet meeting was called which was described as urgent by the national broadcaster.

All social security district offices will be closed from Monday, the government announced on Thursday.

134 coronavirus cases have been registered in Malta so far. Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci announced five new cases on Thursday afternoon.

Highlights from today’s Covid-19 press briefing

  • 1 patient remains in ITU
  • 14 patients are receiving treatment at the Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU)
  • 18 patients are receiving treatment at a private hospital
  • the rest of the patients are receiving treatment at home