Two passengers arriving on a flight from Bergamo tested for COVID-19 after they landed in Malta on Monday with a fever have been given the all-clear. 

The passengers felt feverish after reaching Malta and visited a health centre voluntarily, a medical source told Times of Malta. They were tested for COVID-19, the new coronavirus, on Monday evening.

Their test results showed that they were not carrying the virus, sources said. 

Health authorities assured people in a statement issued at 1.35pm on Tuesday that "at this point, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Malta". 

Monday's Bergamo-Malta flight landed at 2.55pm that day, according to flight tracking website Airportia - roughly at the same time that authorities were setting up thermal scanners for inbound passengers.

All arriving passengers are now being screened by thermal scanners. 

Calls for flight restrictions

Doctors have called on the health authorities to suspend flights or test every passenger arriving from Bergamo, as coronavirus cases in Italy mount. 

There are six flights a week from the Italian city in the alpine Lombardy region, north of Milan, which is at the centre of Europe's biggest outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) has flagged its concerns to the health authorities after seven people died from the COVID-19 virus in Italy in recent days.

On Tuesday, a female Italian tourist from Bergamo on vacation in Palermo tested positive for the virus in the first case found in Sicily. 

The close proximity to Malta as well as the regular flights to the island have sparked more concern over the issue. 

Martin Balzan, the head of MAM, told Times of Malta doctors were urging the authorities to ensure that "adequate measures" are taken with immediate effect with regards to Bergamo flight.

He said they should either suspend the flights or ensure all passengers from Bergamo are tested for the coronavirus, even if they do not show any signs.

Currently all passengers are screened by thermal scanners that measure body temperature. Those flagged as having a fever will be taken to a specialised clinic by health authorities, to receive a mouth swab test.  

When contacted, Superintendence of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said she was aware of the doctors' request and said the authorities have been "monitoring the situation closely". 

On whether the cancelling of the flight was being taken into consideration, Dr Gauci would not say. Instead, she said that "all the risks" were being looked at.

Meanwhile, Malta's Foreign Affairs Ministry urged anyone who is in Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte and Emilia Romagna to "strictly follow directions and orders of local authorities".


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