Update by Ministry of Health
For the first time since March, Malta has registered four consecutive days with no new cases of coronavirus. A person has recovered in the past 24 hours, meaning active cases stand at 21.
With 567 people tested on Sunday, a total of 95,131 swabs have now been taken.
Unemployment edges up again in May
The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for May 2020 reached 4.2 per cent, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, the NSO said this morning. The total number of unemployed now stands at 11,423, 330 more than the previous month. In May last year, 8,875 were looking for a job.
#MALTA-24: LOCAL NEWS
Doctors urge vigilance as Malta prepares to welcome tourists
Doctors urged tourism-related businesses to be vigilant as Malta prepares for the first tourist arrivals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Medical Association of Malta president Martin Balzan, said his members were concerned about the opening up of borders to tourist arrivals.
While doctors acknowledged that reopening the country to tourists was an economic necessity, it was important that tourism operators took precautions.
“We are aware of the importance of tourism to our economy and so many dependent businesses. But on the other hand, it is very important that we continue to do what we can to ensure public safety and minimise risk,” he said.
Malta’s Luqa airport will reopen to ‘safe corridors’ as of July 1, after it was shut to contain the virus pandemic.
Masks must still be used as emergency order lifted
Social distancing and the use of masks and hand sanitisers will remain in place as enforceable measures to prevent COVID-19, even as the public health emergency declared last March is lifted on Tuesday.
“The public must continue to cooperate by using masks, visors and hand sanitisers on buses and in shops and observe social distancing to protect themselves and those around them,” Charmaine Gauci said on Monday.
“These mitigation measures must remain in force as there is evidence that they have been effective in reducing community transmission,” the public health superintendent added.
Announced on March 7 when the first case was reported in Malta, the emergency declaration gave the superintendent sweeping powers to control social gatherings, close schools and non- essential shops, suspend the law courts and close down air and seaports, among other measures.
Diplomatic discussions underway for Malta to be included in UK travel ‘green list’
Diplomatic discussions are underway between the Maltese and UK governments for Malta to be included in Britain’s ‘air bridge’ list, sources have told The Malta Independent.
The British government was expected to release the official list of safe travel countries on Monday, but it was unclear whether Malta would be included. This raised concerns among local tourism operators, who fear that the UK market could suffer if Malta is not placed on the so-called ‘green list.’ UK nationals will not have to quarantine for 14-days upon returning from countries on the list.
L-Orizzont leads with appeals for help by Dar tal-Providenza following a decrease in donations. Director Fr Martin Micallef will also step temporarily aside and the organisation will be administered by board member Jesmond Saliba.
The Independent reports that authorities are holding talks with the British government to include Malta in the UK travel ‘green list’ which exempts Britons from going into quarantine upon return to listed countries.
The Times reveals that Malta is set to request a six-month extension on its Moneyval assessment deadline. The original review has already been postponed by three months to October because of the virus outbreak.
In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia during a fundraising effort on Monday who said that the party’s renewal document adopted last week will transform it into an alternative government.
The Times says the coronavirus health emergency will be lifted today. Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci, however, warned people to keep wearing masks in public places and observe social distancing.
The Independent speaks to Education Minister Owen Bonnici about the situation with operators in the free school transport scheme. Bonnici denied claims that the government kept paying the full amount for the service during the school shutdown.
L-Orizzont quotes EU Commissioner Helena Dalli who flagged structural racism and prejudice in European institutions. The comments were originally made in an interview with news website Euractiv.
The Times of Malta refers to the recent report by the Ombudsman in which he criticised the “arrogant, obsessive” and dangerous culture of impunity enjoyed by those with the right connections to the government. One of the proposals revived by Mifsud in his report is the possibility of forming a ‘Council of State’, an idea first mooted in 1988 but never adopted. The Editor expresses agreement with this proposal, saying that if properly constituted, it may be able to exercise sorely needed moral authority to prevent Malta’s governance from deteriorating so excessively again in future.
The Independent takes Finance Minister Edward Scicluna to task for describing Government, rather than the taxpayer, as the victim in the recent scandal related to the Montenegro windfarm purchase by Enemalta. The Editor recalls that the Muscat administration has so much to answer for: the Panama Papers, the Café Premier and Old Mint Street scandals, Australia Hall, the Vitals deal, the SOCAR 18-year fixed price agreements and many others.
In-Nazzjon also revisits some of the major stories that crippled the country’s reputation over the past few years. The Editor argues that the country badly needs a number of major reforms and deserves politicians that should serve the nation rather than using politics to enrich themselves.
L-Orizzont dedicates another Editorial, keeping a constant message over the past few days, to share its disagreement with racist comments expressed particularly on social media. It refers to a recent social media post by an aspiring candidate who seemed to mock ‘cultural differences’ in a photo showing a number of seemingly-African people sheltering from the heat in city gate. The Editor insists that there is no cultural difference in that and that any one has right to seek shade in soaring temperatures.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS (By corporatedispatch.com)
HIV treatment found to have no benefit for hospitalised COVID-19 patients in trial
A combination of antiviral drugs used to treat HIV had no beneficial effect in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in a large-scale randomised trial, British scientists said on Monday.
Scientists running the RECOVERY trial at the University of Oxford said that the results “convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit of lopinavir-ritonavir in the hospitalised COVID-19 patients we studied.”
China registers 19 new cases of coronavirus as WHO experts fly in to investigate causes of outbreak
China has registered 19 new cases of coronavirus on the mainland, seven more than the day before. Of these new cases, seven were identified in the capital city Beijing, said in a statement.
Coronavirus was linked to a large wholesale food market, though the World Health Organisation still wants to investigate the outbreak further to determine the exact cause behind the proliferation of the virus.
EU Corner – by Comuniq.EU
Merkel-Macron insist again for need of effective agreement on European reconstruction plan
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called for an “effective” agreement on the European reconstruction plan to deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic after a meeting at the German government’s guest house in Messeberg, on the outskirts of Berlin.
“What is important for many countries that are perhaps still skeptical is the desire to come out of this crisis stronger together. This means that only working with a European recovery fund will not be enough we need everyone at home to prepare for the future.”
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.