Watch: 8 test positive to coronavirus; Total now 38

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A 3-year-old boy is among the eight individuals who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, Professor Charmaine Gauci announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The Superintendent of Public Health explained that the 3-year-old boy who is Maltese was in contact with one of the individuals who had tested positive before. Symptoms associated with coronavirus emerged on 15 March.

Highlights

  • A 3-year-old Maltese boy among the 8 individuals who tested positive for coronavirus
  • Half of the cases happened by local transmission
  • A ward at Mater Dei Hospital was closed off after a patient tested positive for coronavirus
  • 1,640 people have been tested so far

Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci delivered a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate in Gwardamangia.

Another case involves an Italian family who resides in Malta. The father was in Rome between 1 and 5 March. The mother had already tested positive. The 58-year-old father and their 15-year-old son showed symptoms associated with coronavirus and have subsequently tested positive. The family was in quarantine.

A 59-year-old British national living in Malta also tested positive to coronavirus. The woman was not abroad, however she was recovered in Mater Dei Hospital on the 5th March after suffering some fractures. On the 13th March, the patient experienced some respiratory problems. A swab test was subsequently taken and she tested positive to Covid-19. Professor Gauci explained that the patient was transferred to the Infectious Disease Unit along with the patient who was sharing the same room. The health authorities have closed the ward off until the situation is stable. The other patient has so far tested negative to coronavirus.

Professor Gauci explained that the woman had been in contact with a healthcare worker who had tested positive for coronavirus. The health authorities have traced the stuff who came into contact with the patient and were placed under quarantine. Professor Gauci underlined that the the contact between the healthcare worker and the woman was very little.

A fifth case involves a 26-year-old woman who returned to Malta from the UK on 13 March. The woman was under quarantine and showed symptoms the next day.

A 28-year-old Maltese man is the sixth new case. He was not abroad but at his place of work, there was someone who had been in Sicily. The man cannot recall whether his colleague had symptoms. However, the authorities suspect that is where the contact happened.

A 62-year-old man who returned to Malta from the UK on the same flight as the fifth case showed symptoms associated with the virus two days later. The man had been under quarantine.

A 52-year-old man is the last of the new cases. The man had not been abroad and had no contact with people who had tested positive. On 10 March he had a cough. He later tested positive. Professor Gauci explained that in this case the health authorities could not identify where the contact happened however, from their investigation they found that the man had been to the gym.

To date 939 swab tests were carried out on people who showed symptoms, were abroad or suspected of having the virus. 701 swab tests were carried out by health authorities when screening for respiratory diseases out of which all tested negative except for the woman with the fracture.

Professor Gauci encouraged people not to hoard food as this would create an artificial deficiency causing “unnecessary problems”. She said that supermarkets will not be closed and therefore there was no need to hoard food.

Asked about the Spanish student who had been quarantined at the Malta International Airport, Professor Gauci explained that the patient who had tested was recovering at hospital. She explained that the the other people in the group were being kept under quarantine in a separate location. The authorities are collaborating with the Spanish embassy on this case.