Rapid testing to lead to a fivefold increase in airport screening

LIVE | Diskors mid-Deputat Prim Ministru u Ministru għas-Saħħa Chris Fearne dwar il-miżuri tal-Baġit 2021 għall-qasam tas-Saħħa.

LIVE | Diskors mid-Deputat Prim Ministru u Ministru għas-Saħħa Chris Fearne dwar il-miżuri tal-Baġit 2021 għall-qasam tas-Saħħa.

Posted by saħħa on Monday, November 2, 2020

The introduction of rapid testing for Covid-19 will lead to a fivefold increase in the number of tests carried out on arrivals at the airport as from next week, Health Minister Chris Fearne maintained.

Fearne, who was speaking during debate on the financial allocation to his ministry, highlighted that the arrival of rapid testing is being coupled with the setting up of a new testing hub at the Malta International Airport.

These efforts, he said, were in line with the ministry’s efforts to boost Malta’s testing capacity, including through the opening of new testing hubs. Malta presently hosts seven Covid-19 testing hubs; the number is set to increase by 2 on Monday.

New hospital receiving Covid-19 patients from care homes

The minister also highlighted that a brand new private hospital in St Paul’s Bay was now being used to host care home residents who test positive for Covid-19.

In the absence of such a facility, such residents would generally remain inside the care home, a situation that appears to have led to sizeable outbreaks in a number of Maltese care homes.

Reflecting on this situation, Fearne said that while mistakes could happen, it would be unacceptable not to learn from them.

Toughest times since WW2

Fearne warned that the coming weeks are set to be difficult for Malta and for Europe, stating that they would perhaps be the most challenging period for the continent since the Second World War.

Whilst he reiterated the principal recommendations – social distancing, the wearing of face masks, and regular hand washing – he highlighted that solidarity was also important.

“This is a time for national unity, to show how much we care for one another,” Fearne said. “This is a time for sacrifice, but it is also a time to show how much we love this country.”