Press Conference by Health Superintendent Prof. Charmaine Gauci (18th May, 1230)
1,017 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours, resulting in five new positive cases, taking the tally to 558. During the daily press briefing, Prof Charmaine Gauci said that more than 51,000 tests have been carried out so far.
Malta’s current active case total stands at 96. The new patients include a 97-year old Maltese man who was hospitalised at Karin Grech Hospital. Another person, a 58-year old foreigner, was identified prior to admission to Emergency Department for separate circumstances. He had shown no prior symptoms.
A healthcare worker based at Mater Dei Hospital was also among the newly identified patients. She said that there are currently 287 healthcare workers being quarantined.
Questioned about sports, Prof Gauci said that the authorities were carrying out a risk assessment of all sports, but it was evident that non-contact sports carried a lesser degree of risk. She indicated that the legal notice on sports involving contact would not be withdrawn.
On restaurants, the Health Superintendent argued that the a risk assessment has been carried out and the recommendations for their re-opening will depend on the implementation of mitigation measures. This applied for both the operators as well as people who will be visiting these establishments.
Prof Gauci announced that during the transition phase, the media briefing will only be held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday.
Statement by Medical Association of Malta
In a strong statement this morning, the doctors’ union expressed itself as very concerned about what it described as a “high-risk decision” to re-open business, arguing that economic interests were being placed before health.
The Medical Association of Malta noted how the first easing of measures, taken two weeks ago, have already resulted in a high number of cases last week.
The doctors noted that many people were failing to comply with social distancing regulations, with many vulnerable members of society roaming freely outside and shops.
In its statement, the MAM added that it felt “disappointed that the government is putting economic interests before health and appeals to the Maltese public to remain very alert and cautious and as much as possible keep social distancing and avoid any form of crowding in public places. Staying at home remains the safest option”.
MALTA-24: LOCAL NEWS
Start working together to protect livelihoods’ – MHRA
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) said it commended the efforts being undertaken to date by the Government in addressing the unprecedented impacts on both public health and the economy in Malta caused by the global COVID 19 pandemic. MHRA recognises that over a very short period of time the global economy was brought to an unexpected, sudden halt as thousands of people across the world started to get infected leading also to loss of life due to the COVID 19 spread.
MHRA President Tony Zahra said that “the tourism sector in Malta has reached ground zero as result of this crises and is now desperate to reopen and face the “new” normality.” MHRA emphasizes that it is important that we keep safeguarding lives but equally important that we need to start working together to protect livelihoods. Our medical authorities need to keep being vigilant and perform their essential and respectful role in our society but we also need to reignite our economy.
The economy will not be as we’ve been accustomed to over the past years – it will be a new reality for all, however we cannot keep procrastinating from opening our tourism sector.
Bishops to discuss the re-opening of churches with Minister Fearne
This evening, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi and Gozo’s Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Mario Grech will be meeting Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne to discuss the way forward on whether Churches are to re-open in view of the fact that Prime Minister Robert Abela hinted on Sunday that restaurants and hairdressers amongst other businesses will re-open in the coming days.
On Friday, during an interview on 103 Malta’s Heart the Archbishop said that in Malta the authorities are very cautious as they do not want an environment that is not safe for the people. Archbishop Scicluna also said he does not want to re-open Churches when the situation is not safe yet.
The Times quotes the Prime Minister who said that bars, restaurants, and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen by the end of the week. He said that catering establishments may apply for more outdoor seating.
The Independent follows a radio interview with Prime Minister Robert Abela who said that plans for the prefabricated hospital have been scrapped as the number of Covid-19 cases have remained low.
L-Orizzont quotes Public Health Commissioner Charmaine Gauci who said that the important thing is that hospital beds are available for patients, not whether there is a new prefabricated hospital.
In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia who said that Prime Minister Robert Abela is making ‘irresponsible decisions’ out of rivalry with Health Minister Chris Fearne. Delia said that people will suffer the consequences of mistakes by the government.
L-Orizzont quotes the Prime Minister who argued that the coronavirus situation is positive despite a rise in new cases in recent days. Robert Abela explained that more infections were detected because more swab tests were being conducted.
The Independent speaks to the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life about proposals for part-time MPs. The Commissioner said that the ‘heart of the matter’ is an obligation for MPs who kept their work in the private sector to declare who their regular clients are.
The Times reveals that the Developers Association received €240,000 in government funds between 2014 and 2018, including a direct order for its academy to provide specialised training to ministries. The MDA is a registered non-profit organisation.
L-Orizzont carries an interview with a Covid-19 patient who described her experience from the moment she was informed that her Covid-19 test returned positive. The 30- year-old woman said she adapted immediately without anger or fear.
In-Nazzjon carries a feature about Pope John Paul II who would have turned 100 today. The paper says that the canonised pope, who died in 2005, visited Malta twice and declared the island’s first saints.
The Times of Malta focuses on the mission to find a coronavirus vaccine which it describes as s the most urgent challenge confronting the world today. It argues that when it is found, it must be made available to all member states of the EU regardless of size or weight. A solid plan and protocol for all its member states to enjoy equal access to medicines in the EU would demonstrate its wider commitment to global solidarity in the search for a vaccine.
The Independent expresses concern on the number of people gathering in public places such as beaches around the island. The Editor calls for clear enforcement of group sizes on beaches, lest we end up with a spike in Covid-19 numbers.
In-Nazzjon tackles the employment situation saying that the current crisis brought about by the pandemic has rendered many persons jobless, worldwide. Locally, it refers to the troubles that the tourism industry is facing, noting the shelving of plans by the Malta International Airport to expand its footprint.
L-Orizzont welcomes the recent announcement by the Tourism Minister that Malta is looking to establish travel links with nine countries. The Editorial refers to the financial support provided to industry during the current crisis and to plans to incentive the economy as it looks to re-start.
Coronavirus probe gains momentum ahead of World Health Assembly
More than 100 countries, including 50 African nations and all European Union member states, are backing a resolution calling for an independent probe into the coronavirus pandemic, Australia said in the run-up to a key meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA).
The World Health Assembly, which has been trimmed from the usual three weeks to just two days, Monday and Tuesday, is expected to focus almost solely on Covid-19, which in a matter of months has killed more than 310,000 globally, and infected nearly 4.7 million.
A number of heads of state, government chiefs, health ministers and other dignitaries are expected to attend the meeting, which is due to kick off around noon on Monday.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday the event would be “one of the most important (WHAs) since we were founded in 1948”.
EU Corner – by Comuniq.EU
EIB promotes circular economy as part of efforts to boost European economies post- crisis
The circular economy concept is gaining attention as the consumption and use of resources increases to serve a fast-growing population with rising standards of living. Circularity refers to the circular flow and efficient use and reuse of resources, materials and products.
The EU has been at the forefront in pushing this new economic model, which also represents sustainable green growth, moving from a consumption and disposal-based linear model to a system that extends the life of products and materials and minimises waste. The circular model has many environmental, climate, social and economic benefits.
The circular economy is backed strongly by the European Commission and other EU institutions, as well as by a growing number of cities and countries across the European Union. It is also attracting increasing attention from the business community and public and private investors.
In this context, and as part of the EU’s efforts to support Member States in restarting their economies in the wake of the pandemic, the European Investment Bank is supporting the transition to a circular economy, particularly in the European Union, but also in other parts of the world. The EIB has a long track record of lending to projects focusing on recycling and the recovery of waste and by-products in various sectors.
For a Fact-Checked Aggregated Service of CoVid-19 related information, please visit: https://corporatedispatch.com/category/coronavirus/
111 – For those who feel symptoms of COVID-19 or who wish further information
21411 411 – For those in mandatory quarantine who require provisions of food and medicine
153 – For those who require information about the financial measures administered by the Department for Social Security.
144 – For those who require information about the financial measures administered by Malta Enterprise.
2204 2200 – For Maltese residents who were caught in one of the high-risk countries and wish to return to Malta
25981000 – For those who have questions about the educational sector and the impact of the coronavirus
This daily update bulletin is being compiled for the Chamber of Advocates by CI Consulta from Corporate ID Group. CI Consulta delivers policy research and analysis, evaluations and impact assessments up to policy implementation and integration.