Thirteen new coronavirus cases were announced on Tuesday afternoon, during a press briefing by the Superintendent of Public Health, Professor Charmaine Gauci. Out of the thirteen cases, eight were patients who contracted the virus locally. During the briefing, Professor Gauci observed that second generation transmission was noted in some of the cases.
Malta now has 169 confirmed cases.
A paediatric team from Mater Dei Hospital is following the children who are recovering at home.
Primary Health Care have set up a new unit to monitor patients who are recovering at home. Doctors are communicating with the patients through video conferencing or via phone calls. Whenever they visit the patients at their house, doctors are to wear PPE.
The clinical condition, the residence and compliance of a person who tests positive for coronavirus determines where the patient will recover, Professor Gauci explained.
Swabs can be nose swabs, nasopharyngeal swabs, throat swabs and anal swabs. The health authorities have chosen to carry out nasopharyngeal swabs.
The swab test takes a sample of particles from the person. A person may test negative for coronavirus due to a low virus load, she explains. Professor Gauci reiterates the need to stay home.
One of the patients in ITU who is breathing with the help of a ventilator, is vulnerable due to his age. The other patient is being monitored. He is being given oxygen however he is not breathing through a ventilator.
Another question concerns the sensitivity of swab tests. Professor Gauci explains that so far 6,934 swab tests have been carried out. Pilot testing includes people who have no symptoms.
Professor Gauci explains that those patients who are at home, should keep rubbish at home for three days in order for the virus to degrade. Rubbish should be placed in two garbage bags.
How should one dispose of gloves? Are rubbish collectors protected?
Question time! The first one is whether the spring hunting season should be opened or not. Professor Gauci replies that the health authorities are assessing the situation.
"I know today is a holiday and the sun is shining, but stay home. We can't let the virus spread within the community," Professor Gauci says stressing that the need of collaboration.
A new measure which entered into force is that prohibiting the gathering of more than 3 people that do not belong to the same household.
She reiterates that there are measures in place to ensure social distancing and therefore curb the spread of the virus via local transmission.
Professor Charmaine Gauci notes that we're seeing cases of patients who traveled to the UK and contracted the virus.
A 48-year-old woman who was in Morocco and returned on 19 May. The woman was on the same tour as another confirmed case.
Two men aged 21 and 24, related to a previously known case. One of the men had light symptoms a day after the flight and contact tracing is underway, Professor Gauci explained.
Two brothers, aged 18 and 21, who are British nationals but with relatives in Malta. They returned to Malta from the UK on 18 March and developed symptoms later.
One of the men developed symptoms the next day.
The health authorities are carrying out contact tracing on the flight.
The family had been in quarantine.
The cases related to travel are as follows:
Another case is that of an eight-year-old girl, the daughter of a previously confirmed case.
Elderly parents – a 72-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man – of an already confirmed case also tested positive for coronavirus.
These five new cases of this specific cluster consist of a 30-year-old woman, a 26-year-old woman, a 43-year-old woman, a 41-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman.
Five of the new cases are linked to an earlier confirmed patient who had been going to work while having symptoms. Three of his work colleagues have since tested positive along with two persons related to them. This is second generation transmission, Professor Gauci explained.
Of the 13 cases, eight patients have contracted the virus via local transmission.
Two patients are in ITU while seven are at the Infectious Diseases Unit and 16 at St Thomas Hospital.
563 swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours on individuals who developed symptoms, out of which 13 individuals tested positive for coronavirus, Professor Gauci announces.
Yesterday Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci announced 5 new confirmed cases of coronavirus. Three of which were related to travel.
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Good afternoon and welcome to this live blog. We will be updating you shortly in real time about the latest Covid-19 cases in Malta.