Malta, more deaths due to COVID, employers want quarantine period slashed

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese health authorities have confirmed that four more patients have lost their life in the last 24 hours due to COVID-19. The elderly patients – three men aged 77, 87 and 88 and a woman aged 86 were receiving treatment at Mater Dei hospital. So far, 496 people have died since the start of the pandemic. 116 patients are still in hospital receiving treatment. Nine are in intensive care.

In the last 24 hours, 673 new positive cases were registered and 1,179 have recovered from COVID-19. This brings the total number of active cases in Malta to 13,104.

Meanwhile, the association representing the employers said that the increae in COVID cases during the last three weeks, and people coming in contact with the COVID positive people, has led to a dramatic increase in absenteeism.

The association added that according to a survey carried out recently “32% of the 325 respondents reported having an absence rate of higher than 15% which is making coping with the shortage of workers a problem in many workplaces. 58% said that they are coping with absenteeism through teleworking where this is possible, while 51% said that they have resorted to reducing operations.”

The association added that the increase in absenteeism due to COVID-19 is effecting badly and disrupting the companies’ operations and warned that this will effect the GDP and the government finances. “The disruption in business activity will have a negative impact on GDP and government finances, given that the wage supplement will have to be extended to at least the first quarter of 2022 to many businesses as a result.”

The Malta Employers’ Association and the Malta Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises are calling the health authorities to reduce the quarantine period to five days. This demand was also voiced by the Opposition which said that the thousands of people in quarantine was having a devastating effect on the Maltese economy.

Source: medNews