9 new cases – 3 local transmissions within the medical profession

Three of the nine new Coronavirus cases in Malta are the first cases of locally contracted virus and that the patients as members of the medical profession who, possibly, contracted the virus from colleagues who were not quarantined after returning from abroad and then resulted positive for Coronavirus.

Public Health Superintendent Prof Charmaine Gauci said that a 36-year old Maltese man is among the professionals who had symptoms on the 14th March. She added that currently the authorities are investigating who was exposed for this person, saying that the risk of transmission on patients is low because at his place of work he didn’t have much contact with patients.

On the second locally transmitted case, Prof Gauci stated that a female worker at Mater Dei hospital had direct contact with a person infected with the virus. She said that the workers had symptoms three days ago, adding that this person hardly had any contact with patients.

Another female worker at the health sector was infected, with Prof Gauci saying that she might have contracted the infection through an Italian person who lives in the same building or another worker who resulted positive. She confirmed that their colleagues are now in quarantine.

Prof. Gauci stated that although there are six infected cases of hospital workers, this does not compromise the health system.

“No way at all. There is no compromise of Mater Dei system or of the health system. These cases were not infected from patients but because there was one health carer who was in contact with another person…….and was not a proper health care facility.”

Referring to the concern by medics who are exposed to patients with the virus and do not wish to return home to avoid endangering the health of relatives, Prof Gauci said that the authorities have prepared for this.

“We already have a facility to offer health workers accommodation so that if they are in contact with a patient or work in these areas, they may use the facility and are also in comfort”.

The remaining six cases imported from abroad are that of a Maltese woman, aged 56 who travelled to the UK between 5 and 13 March. Two days after her return she started showing symptoms and tested positive. She does not work and lives with her husband, who tested negative and who has since been quarantined.

Another case concerns a 34 year old Maltese man who was on vacation in Barcelona with a person who had previously tested positive. He travelled between 6 and 9 March and works for a private company but did not report work on his return.

A 15 year old Spaniard was at the airport in Malta with three other people when he started manifesting symptoms. Prof. Gauci explained that the four of them were isolated at the airport clinic, with only the adolescent testing positive. The young man was kept in isolation while the other three are being held in quarantine.

Another imported case is that of a 49 year Italian living in Malta. Although she did not travel abroad, her husband travelled to Italy and Montenegro. It is thought that she must have contracted the virus from her husband who only had mild symptoms. The man never reported to work with and is in quarantine.

A 19 year old Maltese has also tested positive for COVID 19. He travelled to Dublin with a third party who previously tested positive.

The last imported case is that of a 32 year old Englishman resident in Malta who returned to Malta from abroad. His wife is being held in quarantine.

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