The Health Authorities in Malta have embarked on a plan of action in light of the COVID19 virus, which has continued to spread outside China and has now reached European countries, particularly Italy.
The Health Ministry said in a statement that with effect from the coming week, all passengers arriving at Malta International Airport, as well as those arriving on cruise liners and on the catamaran will undergo thermal screening. It has been explained that groups of persons will be analysed through thermal screening, and if any person is identified as having fever, the person will be stopped and examined more closely.
The health authorities are appealing also for cooperation from the public so that in case of doubt, screening is carried out without any delay. The authorities are also urging anyone who has travelled to affected countries and who is experiencing respiratory problems, to contact their family doctor. The Health Ministry has also set up a helpline on number 2132 4086 to provide additional information.
It has been stated, in regard to a breakdown on the situation in Malta, that so far two suspect cases of COVID19 have been tested and both have resulted negative, whilst three persons are presently in quarantine after having been on the cruise liner Westerman. This vessel had been a centre of attention after a passenger from Hong Kong on board developed COVID19. None of the three Maltese passengers has exhibited symptoms of the virus.
Meanwhile, the fear of coronavirus has permeated in Italy, particularly in the northern regions, where towns have been turned into ghost towns, with authorities in Milan announcing that schools are to be kept closed. The Head of the Civil Protection Department in Italy Angelo Borelli has stated that the situation is being constantly monitored, and has appealed against undue panic.
“We have 132 positive cases of coronavirus. Among them, two have died, one has recovered, a researcher we brought back from Wuhan. The numbers are: For Lombardy, 88 people affected with the virus, 24 in Veneto, in Piemonte 6, in Emilia-Romagna 9 and two in Lazio. There are two recovering in Spallanzani hospital (in Rome). In total, the people who are being monitored by the health ministry are 129.”
The coronavirus has also affected sporting fixtures in Italy. A number of Serie A championship games scheduled for today have been put off. These are Torino vs Parma, Verona vs Cagliari, Atalanta vs Sassuolo, and the much-awaited Inter-Sampdoria fixture.
And in South Korea, the coronavirus alert has been pushed up to maximum, with the number of cases continuing to increase. President Moon Jae-In has stated that the coming days should be crucial for the country to control the spread of the virus. Five persons have been confirmed dead so far from COVID19 in the country.