People have died of Covid pneumonia, Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci said on Friday during her weekly press briefing.
Malta registered 129 new coronavirus cases following 3,523 swab tests.
Among the cases detected over the past weeks, were residents and staff at homes for the elderly, Prof. Gauci revealed during the press briefing.
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The latter group of people are being assessed and trained. They are under supervision of health care workers.
Many doctors, nurses, allied health professionals are helping our contact tracing team, Prof. Gauci, including ex-Air Malta employees and from other entities.
"Make a good assessment before you go on holiday," she says.
The public is being given all the information related to the pandemic and there is also information available on the different countries, people should assess their options when going abroad on holiday during the Christmas period, Prof. Gauci says. She notes that there are various measures at the airport.
Once the flu jab arrives in Malta, vulnerable and elderly who are yet to take the shot will be prioritised.
Prof. Gauci adds that the Good Samaritan which is a licensed long-term facility, can take more beds.
On Good Samaritan Hospital, Prof. Gauci says that residents are transferred from their care home to Good Samaritan where they are given necessary care. If they require more treatment, then they are transferred to Mater Dei Hospital. There were just over 20 individuals at Good Samaritan Hospital, patients are being transferred to day, and others were transferred during the week.
She does not reply on why Dalli stormed out of a meeting with the health authorities.
Prof. Gauci says that the health authorities have met with CCF on coronavirus. There are the necessary measures in place – an area for positive inmates, screening and other measures.
Pallbearers wearing PPE have not been instructed to do so by the health authorities.
On the issue of funerals, Prof. Gauci says that the health authorities have followed WHO guidelines on burial. She says that the body is placed in a special body bag and then in the coffin.
There is no information about influenza-related deaths since the season just started, Prof. Gauci says.
On false positive and false negative results, PCR tests have a high sensitivity to the virus.
Malta would have experienced a sharper increase had the mitigation measures not been in place, Prof. Gauci says.
Prof. Gauci explains that the number of cases is expected to continue to increase. She draws parallels to the Spanish Flu. It is predicted that the number of cases continue to increase. Use of masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, and different regulations help to minimise the risk of transmission.
Prof. Gauci is asked about the use of mandatory masks and whether this is useless.
There have been no cases of transmission between the school community.
There are two asylum seekers positive to coronavirus and they are being kept at "China House".
Asked about the MPA request, she says that the issue of sick and quarantine leave are up to the Police HR.
One Gozo Channel employee tested positive for the virus and other people have been quarantined.
On nursing homes, Prof. Gauci mentions a number of measures in place. She underlines that this is why routine swab tests are being carried out on staff and residents. Infection control regulations need to be adhered to.
On the first question, Prof. Gauci says she will not go into the merits. However, there are situations when the patient has no underlying conditions but the patient develops COVID pneumonia which eventually leads to their death.
Newsbook.com.mt asks about 54-year-old who died yesterday. While the health ministry claimed that the man had underlying conditions, while his family claimed otherwise. Further this newsroom asks about the situation on Gozo Channel.
The few are of concern, Prof. Gauci says, since they could lead to transmission of the virus within the community.
The majority of the population are adhering to the measures while a few keep flouting the regulations, Prof. Gauci notes.
She says that there were various requests to hold daily press conferences like during the first week, adding that the health ministry publishes daily updates on its Facebook page.
Prof. Gauci explains that as you grow older one develops conditions. She remarks that it is important to keep elderly and vulnerable safe. Speaking about the previous subsidiary legislation, it was good for that scenario. She adds that in this scenario, she urges elderly and vulnerable individuals to exercise extra caution.
"We need to adhere by the measures already in place so if there is an increase in restrictive measures this is not too restrictive," Prof. Gauci tells Times of Malta correspondent.
Cases are expected to continue to increase. The situation is clear.
Dar Pinto Qormi: 51 residents, 14 staff
Golden Care: 21 residents, 15 staff
Zammit Clapp: 13 residents, 4 staff
Elderly residents are transferred to Good Samaritan.
During the last week coronavirus was detected at three nursing homes:
Prof. Gauci delivers a short summary in English.
16.9% of the population have downloaded it.
253 of the positive cases who used the app and were given a COVID code to insert into the app.
COVID-19 Alert Malta was downloaded 81,465 times.
While you wait for your swab test result prepare a list of your contacts and also inform them in case of a positive result so that they can go into self-isolation, Prof. Gauci instructs.
If you develop symptoms associated with coronavirus it is important to remain home, call 111 for advice and fix a swab test.
Rapid testing is being offered from Boffa Hospital drive through testing centre.
There are some exceptions to the use of masks including upon request for identification purposes including at banks, at the airport or seaport or by law enforcement officials, to receive any medical or cosmetic treatment or service involving the face or mouth, to take medication and when seated at establishments where food and drink is served.
It is important to wear a mask once you leave your home, Prof. Gauci reminds.
Prof. Gauci goes through the various restrictive measures which are backed by subsidiary legislation.
She reiterates the importance of practicing social distancing and frequent hand hygiene.
Predominantly people aged between 75 and 84 years mostly male are losing their lives after contracting the novel virus.
Prof. Gauci notes that deaths are also increase.
There are 62 active cases on Gozo.
She notes that this is all shifting, Prof. Gauci appeals to the elderly to take the necessary measures.
Most cases which have been registered this week were among patients aged between 24 and 44.
Some clusters were related to social gatherings while others were imported.
Cases among work colleagues were also the increase. She urges employers to take the necessary measures to reduce risk of exposure. She also appeals to employers to move their employees to smart working and teleworking wherever this is possible.
She notes that there have been cases were one member of the household tested positive while the rest of the family members were not infected.
Prof. Gauci remarks that cases have been registered among family members of positive cases. She explains the different measures one can take to reduce the risk of exposure.
Three care homes have had a coronavirus outbreak. Both staff and residents have contracted the virus. Elderly patients are transferred to Good Samaritan home.
The seven-day moving average stands at 128.
She underlines the importance of adhering to the restrictive measures.
Prof. Gauci remarks that it is clear that the trend shows an increase in cases, more so as the colder months approach.
14 – ITU
11 – IDU
32 – In other wards
28 – Boffa Hospital
18 – St Thomas Hospital
2 – Karin Grech Hospital
59 – Good Samaritan
7 – Mount Carmel
5 – Gozo General Hospital
Total admissions are 176.
The pandemic has claimed 73 lives.
The number of active cases stands at 1,988 after 67 made a recovery.
129 new coronavirus cases were reported on Friday afternoon following 3,523 swab tests.
Prof. Charmaine begins her press briefing.
Good afternoon and welcome to this live blog.