Malta, new record of COVID-19 cases

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has recorded 336 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours marking its highest single-day count since the start of the outbreak, almost a year ago. Only last Sunday, 263 cases were registered.
The new cases were recorded following 3,572 swab tests by the health authorities.
Meanwhile, the health authorities confirmed that three patients died of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The latest victims are a 61-year-old woman and 41-year-old man who died at Mater Dei Hospital and a 78-year-old woman who died at her residence. To date, the pandemic has claimed 319 victims.
80 patients have been declared free from coronavirus thus 2,931 remain active.
Until Monday, the health authorities administered 81,883 shots of coronavirus vaccine with 29,021 individuals receiving their second shot.
The union representing the nurses announced that the government has opened a third intensive care ward to address the increase in positive cases of COVID-19. The union expressed concerns about the surge in cases, and said that the situation is having serious negative effects on other medical interventions at Mater Dei hospital.

Source: medNews

Covid-19, Malta registers new record of positive cases

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has registered a new record of COVID-19 cases. According to the local health authorities, 258 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours bringing the total of active cases to 2,582.
According to the latest update, two individuals – an 83-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man became the latest victims after they died of coronavirus at Mater Dei Hospital. To date, 313 individuals have died of the virus.
Until Thursday, 73,644 vaccine doses were administered and 23,395 individuals have so far received their second dose.
During the weekly press briefing, Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci confirmed that there is local transmission of the UK coronavirus variant and so far 61 cases have been confirmed. Only one case of South African variant has been confirmed so far.
On Thursday, the Medical Association of Malta issued a stark warning saying that Mater Dei Hospital will soon not be able to cope with the caseload.
Although a new daily record was reached, Prof. Gauci excluded a partial lockdown. She said measures were already in place adding that bars will remain closed throughout March.

Source: medNews

Caruana Galizia’s murder, one of the accused sentenced to 15 years imprisonment

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – One of the three accused with the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting his involvement in the killing which took place three years ago.


Vince Muscat pleaded guilty to all the charges. When the Magistrate asked Muscat if he wished to plead guilty, he replied “yes”. He declared that there was no need for the Magistrate to read the charges.


Muscat will serve a 15-year sentence and pay €42,000 in court expenses. He reached a plea bargain deal with the prosecutors to provide information about the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The Prosecution said that Muscat’s information could lead to further arraignments.

Two other accomplices, brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio are still facing court procedures, both accused with assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The are expected to face a trial following their declarations in court that they are innocent. Muscat together with Alfred and George Degiorgio were arraingned in December 2017 with the killing of the Maltese journalist.

Recordings taken by middleman Melvin Theuma show that businessman Yorgen Fenech paid 150,000 euros for the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The amount was distributed between the three suspects to explode Caruana Galizia. Theuma was given a presidential pardon while Fenech is under criminal proceedings for contracting the assassination of the Maltese journalist.

In another development, the police arrested three Maltese citizens suspected in supplying the bomb used to kill Caruana Galizia. Brothers Adrian and Robert Agius and their accomplice Jamie Vella were arrested during a police operation early today. They were already arrested in December 2017 together with other eight suspects but were released by the police.
On 16th October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia died close to her private residence in Bidnija when a car bomb was detonated inside her vehicle.

Source: medNews

Malta considering new plans for energy supply

LA VALLETTA (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta will seek to secure European funds for a hrydrogen pipeline after the European Commission turned down the Labour’s government application to get €400 million for a gas pipe which would connect Malta to the European grid through Sicily.
The European Commission has reduced the priority in the use of gas for energy supply. The demand for gas energy is expected to decrease following the European Green Deal Objectives which focus on cleaner forms of energy.
Miriam Dalli, the Minister for Energy said that “the government’s plan is to present a hydrogen-ready pipeline which connects the island to the rest of Europe,” while insisting on a mix of clean energy sources.
Meanwhile, the Opposition in Malta has unveiled in its energy plan for the coming 30 years and said that a future Nationalist government will revive an EU-funding application for a hydrogen-ready pipeline and build a second interconnector electricity link to a different site in Italy.

Source: medNews

Malta, government ready to legalise cannabis

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese government is planning to legalize the “responsible use” and the right to grow cannabis altough there will be a limit. This was confirmed by the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela who said that it is time to take action about this issue.
The new law will eliminate completely the police arrest and prosecution in cases of cannabis for personal use. At the moment, only those caught with 3.5 grams of cannabis will not be prosecuted, and according to the Maltese Prime Minister, that amount is expected to increase.
On Valentinès day, two teenagers were arrested after being caught smoking cannabis in a hotel room. Maltese politicians have appealed for better use of police resources and for laws to be amended.
However, in relation to the use of cannabis and the legal implications, a group of organisations working in the drug rehabilitation sector said that while it is true that not all cannabis smokers end up addicted to it, adolescents may use cannabis as gateway drug to other narcotics.

Source: medNews

Air Malta on the brink of bankruptcy

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese Government is holding talks with the European Commission to grant state aid to the national airline, Air Malta. Clyde Caruana, the Minister of Finance confirmed that negotiations are taking place and added that Air Malta is making a loss of €170,000 every day just to operate its aircrafts, and without the state aid, the Maltese national airline will go into bankrupcy in few weeks.

Minister Caruana said that the present administration needa to present the European Commission an “honest and credible” plan to save the national airline. The Nationalist Opposition is accusing the Labour government that over the years, the European Commission was told false information about the state of the national airline.

The Executive Chairman of Air Malta, David Curmi confirmed that the airline will stop operating to unprofitable destinations and further pay cuts will come into effect. While the present payroll amounts to €50 million, Air Malta has already cut salaries and made hundreds of pilots and cabin crew redundant. He also added that Air Malta will focus on “core destinations” like the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany.

Air Malta was hit very hard due to the travelling restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: medNews

Covid, Malta with the highest and fastest rate of vaccination in the EU

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The rate of vaccination against COVID-19 in Malta is the highest and the fastest in the EU. This was confirmed by the Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Chris Fearne.
He said that by next Sunday, Malta is expected to reach the target of administering 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, two weeks before the official schedule.
Meanwhile, the Maltese health authorities said that the first consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine is safe after temperature issues developed. Health Minister confirmed that this vaccine will be administered as from today. Fearne also said that as from next month, Malta would have another 250,000 doses of the fourth vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
So far, Malta has registered a total of 19,497 cases. 16,811 have recovered while 2,398 are still active. Over the past week, most cases were registered in the 25-34 age group.
Malta has registered a total of 288 deaths. Most Covid fatalities were registered among those aged between 75 and 84 years.
The Superintendent of Public Health, Professor Charmaine Gauci confirmed that the health authorties have issued an order that passengers arriving from France, Germany and Greece will need to show a negative medical test to COVID-19.

Source: medNews

Malta, the first consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine under investigation

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese health authorities are investigating whether a consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine which arrived in Malta over last weekend was kept at the right temperature. This was confirmed by Chris Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health.
Minister Fearne added that the local health authorities are in discussions with AstraZeneca about whether the tempreture was correct or not. Every vaccine consignment has two monitors, a GPS monitor and a temperature sensor. However, the Maltese government did not give any further details about the investigations concerning this first consigment from AstraZeneca.
The Maltese health authorities will administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to non-medical front liners under the age of 55 but it will not be administered to vulnerable and elderly people, or those suffering from chronic disease.
Malta registered 202 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours bringing the total of active cases to 2,406. So far, the pandemic has claimed 284 lives to date.

Source: medNews

Malta, Muscat introduced Fenech to the president of AC Milan Scaroni

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Former Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat presented Yorgen Fenech, accused of being the instigator of the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, to Paolo Scaroni, the President of AC Milan,about a potential agreement on the supply of electricity.
This was revealed by the Times of Malta, which in its Sunday edition highlights this news. This meeting causeda stir in Malta, also due to the current role of Paolo Scaroni as President of Milan, one of the most popular teams in Malta amongst football fans.
In a statement published on his Facebook page, the former Maltese premier confirmed that he had met Scaroni, former CEO of Eni and also vice president of the Rothschild bank, in London in March 2019 in the presence of Maltese officials.
According to the newspaper, following the London meeting, Yorgen Fenech would also travelled to Italy to meet Scaroni, considered a friend of Muscat who is also a staunch Milan fan.
Muscat said the sources cited by the Times of Malta are nothing more than information contained in some whatsapp chats, the subject of investigation by the local investigators, including himself, his former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Jorgen Fenech. Muscat also said that during the meeting, Scaroni allegedly said there could be investors interested in the Electrogas project. “I replied that it was a private venture and that we could only put him in touch with the consortium. That’s what happened and I was not involved in subsequent discussions. This is normal practice and I acted normally on a request, especially one regarding a project of national interest” wrote Muscat in his statement published on Facebook.
Yorgen Fenech is one of the main shareholders of the Electrogas project and in the months before the murder the Maltese journalist, Caruana Galizia herself had receive a dossier on Electrogas consisting of over 200,000 documents.
The Electrogas consortium was selected in October 2013 by the Labour government led by Joseph Muscat to build and manage the LNG plant in Delimara. The agreement was signed in April 2015.
According to the prestigious Maltese newspaper, Muscat informed Fenech that, if an agreement was reached with Scaroni, the local partners would remain shareholders in the project.

Source: medNews

Mastermind behind killing of Caruana was planning to escape to Sicily

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The mastermind behind the assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was planning to escape from Malta to Sicily, to reach Southern France. This was revealed by the Prosecution during the compilation of evidence in the case against Yorgen Fenech, who is charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.

According to a chat on whatsapp which started on 18th November 2019 and traced by the investigators, Yorgen Fenech was communicating with his uncle, Ray Fenech. The prosecution said that the conversation indicated that Yorgen Fenech had plans to leave Malta.

At that time, the Police authorities were already concerned that Yorgen Fenech was planning to escape from Malta, and the chat found by the investigators confirmed that in reality, the accused was going to leave Malta and be picked up in Sicily, and would not be using any credit cards. In one message, Jorgen Fenech told his uncle to look after his children, as he would be moving.

In the chat, Yorgen Fenech told Ray Fenech that he had made contact to check about the
airport. Another chat was found with the Chief Executive of Malta International Airport regarding a discreet departure from Malta, with the Chief Executive telling him this was not possible.

The Prosecution added that Yorgen Fenech had explained he would be entering Sicily and driving to Su Loi, when it had been suggested this trip would be made with his brother Franco.

In one of the chats, a mention had been made of a private jet at a safe airport. ‘K’ is also referred to, with the investigators assuming this is the former Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri, to check whether the airport was safe.

In another chat, there was communication between Yorgen Fenech and an operator of a private jet, with a Swiss contact number. The operator of the private jet was asked whether Jorgen Fenech can land in Nice. According to the prosecution, Yorgen Fenech asked a certain Maruan if he could arrange him a flight on the eve of his arrest on 19 November 2019.

Yorgen Fenech was arrested by the police on 20th November 2019, after patrol boats of the Armed Forces of Malta intercepted his yacht leaving the Portomaso Marina, Saint Julians.

Source: medNews

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