Covid-19 Malta Bulletin – Saturday 14th March 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Updated 16:47

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry welcomed the Government’s first steps to support businesses at these extraordinarily challenging times.

While it is understood that this is only the first set of incentives which the Government intends to put in place to help businesses weather the storm,

The Malta Chamber expects Government to be bolder and indicate clearly when it is going to dig into the country’s reserves to make good for the hardships companies are currently facing and enduring through no fault of theirs.

Updated 11:48

Government has launched a number of support measures to industry and business in the wake of the COVID19 crisis.

The major initiative relates to the postponement of payments due in March and April for provisional tax, VAT and social security contributions. This applies for both employers and self-employed. No data for the eventual payment of such dues has been scheduled as yet. Among the eligible beneficiaries, Abela referred to businesses involved in hospitality, transport and some manufacturing sectors.

Government has also launched a scheme to support those companies who had to carry out investments to support teleworking. PM Abela also promised that Government would be accelerating payments due to businesses, such as VAT refunds.

The major initiative is the postponement of tax payments due in March and April for provisional tax, VAT and social security contributions. This applies for both employers and self-employed. No data for the eventual payment of such dues has been scheduled as yet.

 

Government has also launched a scheme to support those companies who had to carry out investments to support teleworking. PM Abela also promised that Government would be accelerating payments due to businesses, such as VAT refunds.

Updated – 10:37am

In the highest 24-hour increase registered so far, Health Superintendent Prof Charmaine Gauci  this morning gave details on five new cases of patients testing positive to coronavirus, adding to another case announced through a government statement late at night.

 The government, late on Friday had confirmed the thirteenth case in Malta. The case involves a 19-year-old Maltese woman who recently travelled to Brussels has tested positive for Coronavirus. The woman travelled to Brussels on 4 March and returned on 8 March. Symptoms developed on 11 March. The woman is in good condition, the authorities said.

The other five cases announced this morning include two Maltese men who travelled to Barcelona and Dublin respectively, a Russian returning from his home country and another couple (one Italian, the other from Hong Kong) who went to Madrid from 7 to 10 March and felt symptoms from the next day. Information indicates that couple works in private sector.

A total of 591 other swabs were tested all resulting negative. All positive cases were people coming from abroad.

 

The Maltese population remained glued to its tv sets, laptops and smartphones checking the latest updates throughout Friday as Health authorities confirmed that the number of infected persons in Malta went up to thirteen.

The government, late on Friday confirmed the thirteenth case in Malta. The case involves a 19-year-old Maltese woman who recently travelled to Brussels has tested positive for Coronavirus. The woman travelled to Brussels on 4 March and returned on 8 March. Symptoms developed on 11 March. The woman is in good condition, the authorities said.

Meanwhile Government has instructed that non essential travel to Gozo should be avoided. Passengers will be screened prior to embarking on Gozo Channel’s ferries. Other services providing transport between the islands have been suspended.

While Prime Minister Robert Abela extended the quarantine requirement to all persons arriving in Malta from whichever destination, the Police Force confirmed that the first spot checks were carried out in various location around the island.

Despite these new measures, the Medical Association of Malta, supported by a number of Unions, amongst them the General Workers Union, UHM Voice of the Workers and Forum Union Maltin, have requested a complete lockdown for at least three weeks to fight the spread of the virus. These proposals would see only persons responsible for essential infrastructure would be allowed to work.

The Chamber of Advocates has advised its members not to attend any court or Tribunal sitting, claiming that the Government so far is not taking these measures as being necessary.

During yesterday’s evening popular television programme Xarabank PM Robert Abela revealed that a number of incentives aimed at those businesses facing distress will be announced later this morning.

Follow the latest global developments on Co-Vid 19 pandemic here. 

%d bloggers like this: