Latest updates on coronavirus

Updated 07:44 AM
coronavirus swab test centre hal farrug
Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

19:50 The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has jumped in the last 24 hours by 189 to 1,016, a rise of 23%, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday.

19:24 Teatru Malta issued a call for all performing artists. Artists are being asked to produce a 15-minute long video.

Some possibilities include:

  • A theatrical performance, mime, skit or storytelling
  • A poetry reading or a series of haiku
  • An interactive community dance theatre piece with your family (pets welcome too)
  • An original musical theatre performance with instruments and home appliances

Coronavirus bringing you down? 😷🤧The current situation has been hard on everyone – not least on performing artists who…

Posted by Teatru Malta on Thursday, March 12, 2020

19:11 The MATSEC Examinations Board has announced changes to the main and first session of oral, listening and Physical Education practical examinations in a statement on Thursday. Read full story

18:39 Chamber of Commerce urges government to issue assistance measures for companies. Read full story

18:08 Speaker Anġlu Farrugia turned out the Opposition’s request to suspend Parliament’s agenda to discuss the coronavirus outbreak in today’s sitting. Read full story

18:01 Medical school cleared to make way for more beds. Read full story

18:00 The International Monetary Fund on Thursday urged countries to work together in responding to the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak, and called for more donations to help the poorest countries deal with the escalating pandemic. Read full story

17:44 Integra Foundation announced on Facebook that its drop-in centre is going to be closed from tomorrow 13 March until further notice.

17:22 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-isolating after his wife began suffering flu-like symptoms after returning from the United Kingdom.

According to his spokesman, Trudeau “will spend the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home, including speaking with other world leaders”.

I have some personal news to share today. Sophie recently returned from a speaking event in the UK, and last night she…

Posted by Justin Trudeau on Thursday, March 12, 2020

16:53 MUBE acknowledges the Government’s decision to close all schools but says it will be more effective if the early lockdown is seriously considered for the benefit of all the Nation.

16:37 The Malta Public Transport has announced precautionary measures with immediate effect to mitigate risks associated with the spread of Covid-19. Customers buying cash tickets on the bus are kindly asked to produce the exact change. To avoid handling of money, drivers will under no circumstance be able to give change.

Malta Public Transport said that this measure will not affect Tallinja Cardholders and passengers paying with pre-paid travel cards.

16:27 The MFSA has notified its licence holders and the general public to possible fraudulent schemes or financial scams which may try to take advantage of COVID-19 outbreak to target entities and individuals with the aim of misappropriating funds and/or obtaining sensitive personal information.

14:30 PN Leader Adrian Delia addressed a press conference on the latest developments on coronavirus.

12:57 Mass will be broadcast on TVM2 as from next Monday.

12:52 The Prime Minister has just announced that all schools and university, as well as childcare centres, will close as from tomorrow until the following Friday.

12:31 The Nationalist Party announces a press conference at 1.30pm in Tal-Pietà.

12:26 postpones its business breakfast.

12:15 The Salesian Theatre announced it’s postponing all events until further notice.

12:11 The Malta Police Association is threatening to issue a directive to its members not to do the spot-checks on people who are supposed to be quarantined unless clear guidelines are issued on what the police should do, what precautionary measures they should take, etc.

Stqarrija ghal IstampaWara li l-bierah il-Prim Ministru ta’ Malta Dr. Robert Abela LL.d MP iddikjara li issa hemm…

Posted by Malta Police Association on Thursday, March 12, 2020

12:04 A press conference addressed by PM Robert Abela was just announced, to be held at Castille at 12.45pm.

11:57 Alexandra Farrugia, Head of School of Tal-Ħandaq Secondary Forms 3-5 issued a statement to parents, clarifying what happened yesterday. A student whose mother had been abroad told the other students, leading to a panic in which a number of parents picked their children up from school.

⚠️ Attention: All parents/guardiansKindly see the attached letter from the headmistress, Ms A. Farrugia.

Posted by Ħandaq Secondary School Forms 3,4,5 on Thursday, March 12, 2020

11:47 Minister Owen Bonnici currently in a meeting via videoconference with other European Education Ministers.

Bhalissa qieghed nippartecipa f'laqgha permezz ta' videoconference mal-Ministri tal-Edukazzjoni kollha tal-Unjoni Ewropea dwar il-COVID-19.Qed naggornaw lil xulxin dwar x'qed isir f'kull pajjiz tal-UE.

Posted by Owen Bonnici on Thursday, March 12, 2020

11:34 San Anton School also closes: “we will be closing San Anton School as of Monday 16th March for a period of 15 days or until further notice.”

11:28 President issues press release on coronavirus

President George Vella said that he’s been following the outbreak of the coronavirus and expressed his solidarity and well wishes to those who have been infected. He thanked the medical professionals who are working day and night to ensure that the virus remains contained.

Vella appealed to the public to follow the directives given. He reminded people that the rate of people who have been healed is very high.

He also expressed solidarity with the commercial sector and all those affected negatively.

The President’s Office announced that a number of meetings that were supposed to be held with the President have been cancelled or postponed to a later date.

11:12 The Education Ministry issued a press release saying that 2,443 hand sanitiser bottles containing 130ml and 991 hand sanitisers of 500ml have been bought and distributed in schools since 2nd March. The Ministry has ordered more hand sanitiser bottles.

11:05 University organisation ELSA Malta cancelled its international conference.

10:59 St Edward’s College announced that tomorrow, Friday, Monday and Tuesday will be holidays. These will be then deducted from the Easter holidays or the summer holidays.

Good Morning,After lengthy discussions with all stakeholders of our SEC community, I am informing you that we will be…

Posted by St Edward's College, Malta on Thursday, March 12, 2020

10:56 Prof. Charmaine Gauci appealed to the public not to go out if unnecessary. Those who have the facility of working from home are being encouraged to do so.

10:50 9 total cases in Malta: 3 Italians, 2 Norwegians, 2 Maltese and 2 other foreigners living in Malta announced just now.

10:43 2 new cases confirmed.

10:41 In the meantime, there has been an announcement that the internal celebrations of the St Joseph feast in Imsida are being cancelled as well.

10:36 A press conference by the Health Directorate should start at any minute now. Follow it live on

10:35 The Anaesthetists’ Association is calling for a total flight ban.

10:31 MEA proposed a national shutdown.

10:17 The Planning Authority announced that from today onwards, all its meetings with architects and the public will have to be set up by appointment.

10:07 Iceland, which has a population of 364,000, has 90 confirmed cases. This could be the highest percentage of coronavirus cases in the world.

10:06 European Council President Charles Michel tweeted that the EU will assess the situation following Trump’s ban on US-EU travels. He insisted that economic disruption must be avoided.

10:00 Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli this morning wrote on Facebook saying that the Government is working on measures to be taken to help the tourism industry.

Bonġu. Meta llum tipprepara biex tibda r-rutina normali tiegħek ftakar fl-eluf ta' ħaddiema f'pajjiżna li lejl u nhar…

Posted by Julia Farrugia Portelli on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

09:48 Bank of Valletta announced a number of measures to support business customers who are being adversely affected by the current COVID-19 scenario.

09:41 The Health Directorate has just announced another press conference on coronavirus, to be held at 10.30am.

09:28 Dr Michael Spiteri from the Emergency Department at Mater Dei Hospital wrote on Facebook that some patients are lying about their travel history. Fortunately, they were caught and the coronavirus test resulted negative.

However, he appealed to the public not to lie about something so crucial, and to keep in mind the risk and danger that doctors are putting themselves in on a daily basis.

I hate being blunt on social media, but today I have to make an exception. We have had patients who we caught lying…

Posted by Michael Spiteri on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

09:20 It appears that the Government’s website on Covid-19 has not been updated yet with the measures taken yesterday to suspend all trips to and from Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland.

09:13 Theatre events have fallen victim to Covid-19 as well. After Sister Act at Teatru Astra and all Manoel Theatre events were postponed, this morning it was announced that the comic opera Cox and Box at Teatru Salesjan is postponed as well.

09:06 Certain establishments where there usually is a large gathering of people are closing altogether to avoid having people crowded together in a confined space.

09:05 The Gozo Ministry has postponed the event Dwejra: Looking Beyond which was to be held next Sunday to celebrate Women’s Day.

08:59 Mark Anthony Sammut said that the time for drastic measures is upon us and we must adapt to a change in our lifestyle. He said he will stop visiting the elderly and those who are vulnerable in their homes as a preventive measure.

Minn dak li ġara f'pajjiżi oħra, nistgħu nifhmu li l-problema tal-#Coronavirus mihix biss ir-rata ta' mwiet, imma anke…

Posted by Mark Anthony Sammut on Thursday, March 12, 2020

08:41 MAPHM appeals to the public for the helpline not to be used to report people not in quarantine. They are to be reported to the police.

08:37 MUT confirms with that they’re meeting PM Abela in the afternoon.

08:33 Parents, students and teachers alike all think that schools should be closed. Here’s what you should know:

  • MUT yesterday requested an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela
  • UPE voiced its concerns
  • Education Minister Owen Bonnici said that there is no need to close schools
  • UMASA said lectures in University should be cancelled till the Easter holidays
  • KSU is meeting student representatives to discuss the situation
  • A petition has started going round in favour of schools being closed: 9,820 signatures out of 10,000 so far

08:21 Actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have tested positive.

08:17 Last night, the US Government suspended all travel to and from the European Union.

08:15 The Government announced some strict measures yesterday, namely that all travel to and from Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland are to be suspended. Those returning from these countries are to be placed in mandatory quarantine. Whoever does not follow these rules, will be fined €1,000 for each day that they don’t quarantine.

08:13 Last night the Government announced the 7th case of coronavirus in Malta. The patient is a woman who was with the 6th patient, a Maltese doctor, on holiday in the Dolomites in Italy. They both are said to be in good condition.

The rest of the family is in quarantine.

08:10 Good morning. Another day, another blog on the latest updates on coronavirus.

If you want to be the first to receive the latest news on the coronavirus in Malta, download the Newsbook APP here.