Malta confirmes first cases of Omicron, new stricter measures
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese government was left with no option to reintroduce preventive and stricter measures to combat the new wave of Covid-19 cases hitting the country as the local health authorities confirmed the first new cases of the Omicron variant. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne have confirmed that two cases of the Omicron variant were identified following various medical tests.
A new record of 733 new cases was registered during the last 24 hours. 92 patients have recovered. The total number of actove cases increased to 3,632. 53 patients are receiving treatment at Mater Dei hospital of whom 3 are in the intensive acre unit.
Fearne confirmed that Malta has adequate supplies to administer the booster shot to fight effectively the Omicron variant. While 182,000 people have already received the third dose; 41% of those eligible, as from next Monday, those over 18 years can also register with the health authorties to receive the booster jab. 90% of people over 70 and 80% of those aged between 60 and 69 have so far taken a booster jab. It was also announced that as from January 17 the vaccination certificates would be valid for three months for those who had the second dose and valid for another nine months after the third dose. Fearne added that as from next Monday, the government will no longer allow standing events with the exception of wedding and funerals and all establishments have to close by 1pm. Spectators will not be allowed to attend sports events. Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela added that in the coming weeks the government would be evaluating whether the wage supplements would be extended to help businesses cope with the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Health Minister added that from January 17, all bars, restaurants, clubs, gyms, pools and spas, casinos, gaming halls, cinema, theatres and sports venues would be open only for those who have a valid vaccination certificate. He added that by the time schools reopen in January, the government is aiming to have all children aged between 5 and 11 vaccinated.