Coronavirus, more cases registered in Malta
Malta has registered five new cases of coronavirus which bring to a total of 18 cases, all imported from foreign countries.
Meanwhile, the Maltese government ruled out a complete lockdown since all confirmed positive cases of COVID 19 were imported from abroad. This morning the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela declared that all business operations affected directly by the COVID 19 will have all tax and social security payments due for March and April postponed.
This morning the Maltese Health authorities confirmed that the new cases; three foreigners and two Maltese, involve people who entered Malta after trips to Russia, Ireland and Spain.
A russian man arrived in Malta on March 4, but the symptoms of coronavirus came out a week later. The authorities are identifying his close family members and work collegues to be put in quarantine.
A Maltese man was on vacation in Dublin, Ireland and started feeling the first symptoms the day before he was back in Malta on March 10.
Another Maltese man was tested positive after he was in self-quarantine since he has returned to Malta from Spain.
The other two cases involve a foreign couple who were in Spain for four days. They started feeling the coronavirus symptoms one day after there arrival, on March 11.
Meanwhile, last night a 19-year-old Maltese teenage girl was confirmed positive for Covid 19. This is the thirteenth case of coronavirus imported into Malta. The girl was in Brussels between 4 and 8 March. She felt the first symptoms on Wednesday 11 March. Her condition is good.
The Maltese health authorities have also announced that the mother who was tested positive for coronavirus last Saturday has recovered well. Health authorities confirmed that the woman had tested negative for two medical tests conducted 24 hours apart. Therefore, in accordance with established guidelines, this woman is considered cured. The woman was released from Mater Dei hospital and is kept in quarantine in her home for a few days as a precaution.
The Medical Association of Malta together with other trade unions, are calling the Maltese Government to enforce a pre-emptive lockdown for a minimum of three weeks to be enforced with immediate effect. This means all local residents will be in mandatory quarantine and only employees providing emergency services such as Mater Dei Hospital and health centres, power stations, water services and other essential infrastructures would be allowed. People should leave their homes only to buy essential items. All shops and places of entertainment except for pharmacies, supermarkets and groceries and food retail outlets (excluding restaurants and pubs) are to be closed during this period. All schools and universities should remain closed during this period. The airport and ports would be closed to visitors and only allow repatriation of Malta residents stranded abroad. Any repatriations of local residents need to be followed by a strict, mandatory quarantine period of two weeks. No residents in Malta are to be allowed to travel outside the country without permission of the health authority. Transport of goods and cargo will continue unaffected.
Meanwhile the cruise liner Marco Polo was denied entrance to Valletta by the port authorities. The Cypriot government confirmed that on board there is a passenger who is complaining of symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus. Most of the passengers on the cruise liner are Italians.