Live Update: Covid-19 Bulletin Malta – Wednesday 20th May 2020

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Updated 1346

We cannot remain in a state of emergency – Chamber of Commerce

‘The country needs to find a new sense of competitiveness and an energy of resilience to successfully navigate the post-Covid realities’ said Perit David Xuereb, President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry today during a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition at Dar Ċentrali in Pieta’.

The current economic disruption which is resulting in great hardships for businesses and citizens alike were top on the agenda of the discussion during the meeting.

The Chamber delegation insisted on the importance of the country being given clear and safe direction on the way forward in a responsible and structured manner. At the same time the country ought to continue to give due weight to the nation’s economic needs as well as the physical and mental health of our people.

Updated 1236

26 new cases in two days

Health Superintendent Prof Charmaine  Gauci returns to the media table after missing out for the first time in weeks yesterday.

Five more persons have recovered yesterday, taking this particular total to 465.

15 new cases were identified yesterday, taking the tally to 584. There are currently 113 active cases in Malta.

Of the 26 cases registered between Monday and Tuesday,  10 had displayed symptoms. These include a couple of two-year old children. The cases also include a Gozitan healthcare worker who works at the General Hospital in Gozo.

Among the other cases, five were identified through contact tracing after being in contact with previously-identified patients.

12 cases of the 26 cases were asymptomatic and include a number of healthcare workers and carers who were identified through the screening process in place in the respective hospitals.

Questioned by the press, Prof Gauci said that the R factor was currently above 1.

Sahha2

 

Updated 1203

New economic package in the pipeline – Silvio Schembri

A new economic stimulus package is being prepared and is in its final stages. Through a new set of measures, Government hopes to restart the economy after the slowdown brought about by social restrictions imposed to slowdown the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was announced by Economy Minister Silvio Schembri this morning while visiting Baxter.

Updated 1140

Malta welcomes the progress achieved so far with regards to the four Covid-19 EU financial instruments
Minister for Finance and Financial Services Edward Scicluna, together with the Finance Ministers of the European Union, participated in an informal Ecofin videoconference yesterday afternoon.
During the meeting, the Finance Ministers also took stock of the progress made on measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis at the EU level, including the EIB’s pan-European guarantee fund.  
In a statement, Minister Scicluna said, “Malta welcomes the progress achieved so far with regards to the four EU financial instruments. We support the EIB’s pan-European guarantee fund, that could support financing for companies encountering problems due to the COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on SMEs, the SURE Programme for the protection of employment, the ESM Credit lines and the common recovery instrument at the EU level.”
“Malta strongly believes that the recovery plan must be treated holistically and that the entire Multiannual Financial Framework, including the Recovery Fund, are agreed to as soon as possible. Malta is open to discussions but is ready to seek a compromise to the benefit of the formidable challenges facing the EU in the months to come”.
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Talk of town was dominated yesterday by new protocols regulating the re-opening of a number of outlets due this Friday, including restaurants and cafeterias as well as hairdressing and beauty salons. While most business owners were generally positive on the possibility to re-open their business, a number of them pointed out the challenges and constraints they face, after a number of restrictions were imposed to protect the safety of employees and clients.

One major issue of contention appeared to be a requirement for hair salons and barber shops to test out the water supply system for any contamination, a process which would take at least a week to operate, rendering the re-opening within a couple of days impossible. The Health Directorate later clarified this issue, insisting that if the water supply is direct from mains, flushing of the water system by opening all taps for a few minutes should suffice,” it said.

“If the supply of water is through a roof tank, this should be cleaned and the water system flushed through for a few minutes. It is important that the water heater temperature is raised to 60˚C, and thus there is no need to take samples and get approval from the Environmental Health Directorate.”

On the other hand, if the outlet forms part of a hotel or a complex without its own water system, the full procedure outlined in the regulations ought to be followed.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Malta has gone up to 103, as 11 new cases were identified in the past 24 hours. Malta has now seen a total of 569 cases, with 460 recovering.

Meanwhile, the President of Malta, Dr, George Vella held a meeting with the highest authorities of the Health Sector in Malta. The delegation was led by the Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne,

The President thanked all those involved in the sector for their excellent work in controlling the Covid-19 and the way they handled the situation, stressing that this is an expression of gratitude on behalf of all those residing in Malta. He encouraged them to continue in their work and efforts in this situation while building on the results achieved.

CDE News

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