Malta’s Covid-19 trend deemed of ‘high concern’ by ECDC

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is considering Malta to be a country whose Covid-19 trend is one of “high concern,” with the country reporting one of the highest death rates in the EU.

In its latest risk assessment of 31 European countries – the EU/EEA members and the UK – Malta is deemed to be one of seven countries of high concern, along with Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Romania and Spain. All seven are seeing a rise in older cases, leading to an increased proportion of severe and hospitalised Covid-19 cases. Increasing or high death notification rates are also already observed.

The rating suggests that the overall risk of Covid-19 is assessed as high for the general population and very high for vulnerable individuals.

At present, Malta has registered the third-highest death among the 31 European countries, with the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 reaching 2.2. Only Spain (3.0) and Romania (2.7) have reported higher rates. The 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in Malta is also the fifth highest, at 140.6, behind Spain (320), Czechia (229.4), France (204.5) and Luxembourg (173.8).

When it comes to high-concern countries, the ECDC suggested that stricter measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus appeared to be “the only available strategy that may be able to ensure a moderate (as opposed to high) impact of the disease on individuals and on healthcare provision.” It noted that such measures had proven effective in controlling the epidemic throughout Europe in spring.

A further 12 countries – Austria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK – are deemed to present a moderate risk of Covid-19. While the rates of Covid-19 transmission in these countries remains high, vulnerable individuals are less affected than in high-risk countries

The remaining 12 countries – Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden – are considered to present stable trends, with the overall probability of infection deemed to be low.