Covid-19 Bulletin Malta – Saturday 4th April 2020

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Updated 1915

Chamber of Commerce calls for highest ethical standards in market pricing

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry in a statement made reference to the claims made by the Minister for the Economy the Hon Silvio Schembri about alleged cases of price abuse.

The Malta Chamber clarified that it does not have any legal jurisdiction on pricing as it is not a Government Authority and has no regulatory role of any kind. It is out of a sense of social responsibility, that the Malta Chamber has been vociferous in encouraging businesses to be ethical in this regard.

The Malta Chamber, noted that perhaps going against what most would have expected of it, was the very first to raise the issue of price-abuse on the 10th March when it issued a media statement calling on all businesses to “practice the highest ethical standards, when it comes to market pricing, especially on necessary items, at this time.”

In its press release, in March, the Chamber had encouraged operators in the supply chain to act responsibly.

Updated 1238

Eleven new cases registered in past 24 hours, including two-year old

In the daily briefing by Prof Charmaine Gauci, it was announced that 659 swabs took place yesterday through which 11 new cases were identified.

All these cases were locally transmitted. 9702 tests have been carried out so far, resulting in 213 positive cases. Three cases are now hospitalised in Intensive Care, and four at Boffa hospital.

These patients include a healthcare worker, a two-year old girl and a foreign man residing in the Hal Far Open Centre with no apparent direct contact with the Nigerian individual who tested positive yesterday.

Prof Gauci explained that so far only two people have recovered as there are different protocols on how to re-test, which can include a double testing or a second testing which allows a reasonable timeframe to confirm the person is free from the virus.

The Health Superintendent insisted that the authorities’ efforts remained focused at reducing the need to have a significant number of patients hospitalised at the same time thus overwhelming the health system. She also referred to a recent Legal Notice granting her, in the capacity of Health Superintendent, ample powers to take the necessary decisions in combating the spread of the virus.

Update 1139

Cruising couple to be allowed to disembark

The Maltese couple who are aboard the Colombus cruiseliner will be brought back to Malta. The Department of Information has announced this morning through a statement that this decision has been taken by Prime Minister Robert Abela, Minister Ian Borg and Prof. Charmaine Gauci.

The couple, aged 70, will be brought back to Malta but the cruiseliner will not be allowed in Malta’s ports. It is on its way to the United Kingdom.

Update 1059

Malta is officially in a public health emergency.

Through a legal notice issued on Wednesday and applicable as early as 7th March, gives the Health Superintendent the necessary powers to combat the novel coronavirus.

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It has been four weeks since the appearance of the first case of coronavirus in Malta, four weeks which have completely changed our ways of life to unthinkable extremes. Four weeks, during which 202 persons contracted the virus, pushing Malta up to 34th place per capita on a global level.

Around the world, more than a million people have now been infected by the novel coronarvirus.

Health authorities yesterday announced that more ventilators to strengthen their capacity for curing patients and for any eventuality which might arise have begun arriving and are being set up at Mater Dei. At the same time, the hospital’s laboratory is among the first in Europe which started using a sophisticated robotic machine which can perform up to 800 tests a day for Covid-19. In fact, in the last 24 hours, swab tests surpassed 749.

Since the spread of Covid-19 started, 9,043 tests in all have been made, and now with the new machine they are expected to increase significantly. The health authorities are also awaiting verification for kits which can show, via blood samples, if the person had contracted the virus, even if they never had symptoms, and whether they acquired immunity against Covid-19.

CDENews

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