Watch: Two new cases; 585 swab tests carried out

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci will be delivering the daily update on coronavirus at 12.30pm on Sunday.

On Saturday, Professor Gauci announced ten newly confirmed cases with a total of 149 identified cases. One patient, a 72-year-old who initially tested positive, is in critical condition and breathing with the help of a ventilator. So far only two individuals have completely recovered.

Coronavirus Malta -29.03.20

12:44 Thank you for following!
Monique Agius
12:40 The Superintendent of Public Health is asked about the latest legal notice and the exemptions. Professor Gauci explained that in the case of healthcare workers should speak to their employers and assess the risk in case of vulnerable individuals. The ultimate decision is at the discretion of the individual.
Monique Agius
12:39 Question time!

The first question concerns swab tests and whether the health authorities are considering increasing community screening.
Professor Gauci explains that most of the time they would take swab tests from individuals who have developed symptoms.

Repeat testing are carried out on cases which are deemed to be more serious such as those receiving care at Mater Dei Hospital.

Community screening:
With every run, swabs are taken from individuals who do not have any symptoms and volunteer to take the test. This pilot testing is being done to understand whether there are asymptomatic individuals in the community.

Professor Gauci said that while two individuals had recovered, so far the other patients have not recovered and have not tested negative.
Monique Agius
12:37 The public is warned against complacency. Professor Gauci said that while it is a nice day, people should stay indoors.

She underlines that the health authorities have the full cooperation of the police who are currently doing patrols to disperse crowds.
Monique Agius
12:37 The second case concerns a 39-year-old Maltese man who developed symptoms on 15 March. He was tested for coronavirus yesterday.

The man did not travel however a colleague was abroad and had developed some symptoms. The authorities are currently doing contact tracing.
Monique Agius
12:36 The two cases are a 53-year-old Maltese woman who developed symptoms associated with Coronavirus. The woman who had no travel history, however, a relative had returned to Malta on 20 March. The relative had developed symptoms on 23 March. 'We're suspecting that she contracted the virus from her relative.'

The family was in quarantine upon the person's return.
Monique Agius
12:34 Four patients who contracted coronavirus are currently receiving treatment at ITU.

Another person was admitted into ITU over the night, tests are currently underway to establish whether the patient contracted Covid-19.
Monique Agius
12:33 The 72-year-old man remains breathing with the help of ventilator and in a critical condition.

Two patients have been transferred to the ITU on Saturday. 'We felt that they needed to be monitored more,' Professor Gauci remarked.

While the 61-year-old patient was transferred out of ITU into the ward.
Monique Agius
12:33 Vulnerable individuals are reminded to stay inside for their own benefit, since they are more likely to suffer from complications if they contract the virus.
Monique Agius
12:32 'It's true that only two tested positive for coronavirus after carrying out so many swab tests. But this is not an indication that we will not have anymore cases. The work continues to contain the situation. This is only the beginning of our curve. We need your cooperation to keep the numbers low,' Professor Gauci remarked, urging the public to continue cooperating with the health authorities.
Monique Agius
12:31 A total of 585 swabs were taken at the swabbing centres, health centres and Mater Dei Hospital. Only two individuals tested positive for coronavirus. Therefore a total of 151 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in total.
Monique Agius
12:31 Professor Charmaine Gauci enters the room.
A 'record' number of swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours.
Monique Agius
12:26 Situation recap:
– So far we have 149 cases
– Yesterday 10 new cases were announced out of which six were travel related
– A 72-year-old man is in critical condition and is breathing with the help of a ventilator
– Two patients have recovered
Monique Agius
12:24 Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci will be addressing a press briefing at 12.30pm.
Monique Agius
12:22 Good afternoon and welcome to this live blog.
Monique Agius

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