Malta had the lowest number of people in ITU with COVID-19 last week when compared to other European countries, fresh data has shown. 

At just 0.3 patients per 100,000 people in intensive care in the week ending on Sunday, Malta's ITU occupancy rate was the lowest in the EU, according to data by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 

The data was published on Friday and covers the period ending on Sunday, when there were four patients in the ITU. This figure had remained unchanged by Wednesday, when public health chief Charmaine Gauci provided Times of Malta with an update.

According to the ECDC data, Malta's more general hospital occupancy rate is also among the lowest, although notably higher than that of the ITU at 11.1 per 100,000 patients. Only Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg have lower rates than Malta. 

Despite the numbers in hospital being low, something the health authorities have insisted is crucial when it comes to analysing the COVID-19 situation, the ECDC still considers Malta as being of most concern. 

Malta, for the second week running, received a score of nine out of 10, the highest figure among all EU member states. This means the country is now once again classified as being of "very high concern". 

Only France, Greece and Ireland are in this category, although their score is lower than Malta's. The island's score is the same as that detected at the end of 2021 when record numbers were registered and thousands of people had the virus. 

The ECDC score is worked out based on values for five different indicators: case notification rates, testing rates and test positivity, rates of hospitalisation and intensive care admission, occupancy, and mortality.

Malta has been dealing with an increase in the number of new cases which the health authorities attribute to more people gathering, colder weather and the new Omicron sub-variant which is more transmissible. 



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