The number of persons with Coronavirus in Malta have reached 110 with three new cases confirmed following around 300 tests in the past 24 hours. Public Health Superintendent, Professor Charmaine Gauci, however, warned the public against relaxing restrictions and continue to observe the health authorities’ instructions, especially to keep social distancing. The new Covid-19 cases are of two 20-year old female youths and an American who lives in Malta.
Prof. Gauci said: “These are early days in our situation and as you saw, even last week, it wasn’t the first time that we had few cases and then the day after we registered various other cases. We learned from other countries where they experienced less cases and then started relaxing the guidelines and the control methods – then the virus spreading resumed”.
Prof. Gauci said our country should not repeat Hong Kong’s mistakes who experienced an explosion of coronavirus cases after they loosened restrictions.
She added that the three new cases are connected with traveling, including two 20-year old female youths who were in London.
One of the new cases lived in London and the other a university student, whose colleagues are being analysed as she attended a lecture at the University. The third case concerns a 49-year old American who lives in Malta and traveled to Austria. When he returned he remained in quarantine and the only person who was exposed is now in quarantine.
Prof. Gauci stated that these persons are in good health, while the 61-year old elderly person is still at the ITU as his condition is unstable.
She added that the health authorities will open other centres for the testing of more persons so that cases will be identified early.
‘As to the amount of tests, we are the third country with the most tests per capita among the EU countries. This is a very good sign; it is a strategy to find all positive cases and isolate them, do contact tracing and quarantine period”.
Prof. Gauci said that swabs are being made in private hospitals in conformity with the protocol, while health authorities are immediately informed with their results.
Referring to the Foundation for Medical Services’ call for a prefabricated hospital, Professor Gauci said that this is needed to add more beds. She stated that the needed investment to build this new emergency hospital is less that that to refurbish St Luke’s hospital.
The prefabricated hospital is expected to be built in eight weeks and will include six intensive care sections with 60 beds and 45 ventilators, together with other facilities.