4,230 Covid-19 swab tests carried out in less than three weeks

The Health Authorities have upped the ante on swab testing in a bid to trace people who may possibly be infected with the Coronavirus. From today testing began in two centres one in Malta and one in Gozo where the sample is taken from the throat and analysed at a laboratory at Mater Dei Hospital. In less than three weeks, 4230 swabs have already be carried out and when compared with international figures vis a vis Malta’s population, Malta ranks in third place in the EU with regard to the number of tests carried out.

The Health Authorities have intensified their work so that more people with symptoms of Coronavirus can be tested with a view to early detection. This was made possible by opening two centres – one in Pembroke, next to Luxol grounds and the other in Xewkija, Gozo thereby facilitating swabbing of symptomatic persons which are now being carried out from three centres in total.

As explained by the Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci, this is all part of the strategy to control the spread of Covid-19. Moreover all tests are subject to referral.

“Those who have symptoms, are referred for swabbing via the helpline or by their family physicians, and from there on isolation begins and quarantine where necessary ‘

The centre in Pembroke is open from Monday to Sunday between 8.00am and 8.00pm and people are being tested without having to leave their cars. ”

The new centre in Xewkija Gozo is the former VIP heliport Lounge heliport and is open all week from 8.00am until 2.00pm.

The Health Authorities are urging people not to go to these swabbing centres unless they have been referred via the 111 helpline or by their family doctor. The Authorities said that those people who are being tested must use their own cars and can’t catch public transport or taxis or go there on foot because of the risk of exposure to others.

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