The single case of the Delta variant of COVID-19 found in Malta so far had not been abroad in the previous two weeks, the Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci, said on Wednesday.
Replying to questions on Times of Malta’s Ask Charmaine programme, Gauci explained that the Delta variant is the variant first identified in India.
She said that the patient had been in isolation and close contacts had all tested negative.
Replying to various other questions, Gauci said there had been no let-up by the authorities regarding the testing rate, and anyone who felt ill should come forward.
“We want to find whatever is out there” she said, adding that Malta always exceeded the minimum testing set by the international bodies.
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Gauci replied to various questions on the EU vaccine certificate due to be used across borders from July 1. She said that Malta was in an advanced testing phase and looked forward to joining the programme.
She explained that the certificate, which locally started being rolled out last week, is issued only to people who have been fully vaccinated. Children, who do not take the vaccines, will still need to be tested 72 hours before boarding a flight or ferry to Malta. But that requirement does not apply for children aged under five.
She stressed that it is the PCR test that is required by people who do not hold a certificate because that is the most reliable.
Asked whether a single test can be used for day trips, Gauci said that was allowed since a test taken not longer than 72 hours before arrival is required for travellers who do not hold a certificate.
But it was easier for everyone to simply get vaccinated and then get their certificates, she stressed. There had been cases of travellers about to return to Malta who had not been vaccinated and then tested positive, meaning they then had to quarantine before returning, she said.