Update: Malta’s coronavirus tally has gone up to nine with two persons in their twenties added to the list. This was confirmed during a press conference this morning addressed by Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci.
Patient Eight is a 29-year old foreign man returning from Belgium, who lives alone. Patient Nine is a 26-year old, also of foreign nationality, returning from Berlin, who also travelled to Amsterdam via bus.
Malta’s coronavirus tally has gone up to seven after a Maltese couple tested positive yesterday following a holiday in Northern Italy. One of the man’s children, who is also under mandatory quarantine, was also on holiday with the 55-year-old Maltese doctor.
As the coronavirus – which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation – continues to spread through all corners of the globe, Government announced another set of travel restrictions. Following a similar announcement concerning Italy earlier this week, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced yesterday that all connections with France, Spain, Switzerland and Germany except for the transport of goods and food were banned. Passengers returning from these four countries – as well as from Italy, China, Singapore, Japan, Iran and South Korea are now required to follow a mandatory quarantine upon their entry into Malta. The same requirement applies to persons living with others who have travelled back from or through these countries.
Financial penalties have been introduced with government setting a fine of €1,000 of persons failing to abide with the above regulations.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Owen Bonnici continued to resist calls by the Malta Union of Teachers as well as an online petition which at time of writing had exceeded 7,000 signatures to close off schools insisting that such extreme measure was not required at this point in time.
Throughout the day, an increasing number of local organisations have postponed events scheduled throughout the month, including all performances at the Manoel Theatre, the musical Sister Act in Gozo, children’s cinema day as well as all of University of Malta’s events, conferences and meetings.