Malta’s intensive care units can currently take a total of 100 COVID-19 patients, Times of Malta can confirm. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were six COVID-19 patients in intensive care, all under the age of 70. It is not yet clear whether the man who died on Wednesday is one of the six.

Earlier, the health authorities said a total of 111 new cases were detected overnight, the highest since the first patients had tested positive for the virus in March. 

Asked for an update on the situation in the hospitals’ ICUs, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said that the unit at Mater Dei can take up to 75 patients. 

A further 25 ICU beds have been set up at Gozo General Hospital.

On Monday, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced the authorities would be setting up another ICU at Mater Dei. This would be the third one after a second COVID-19 ICU was set up in March. Only one of the ICUs is currently in use, Gauci confirmed on Wednesday. 

The superintendent also confirmed Malta has 120 ventilators. 

Asked whether, in light of the spike, the health authorities would be looking at acquiring more ventilators, Gauci said it was important to keep in mind human resources constraints. 

“You can have all the beds and ventilators in the world, but we need people to operate them,” Gauci said. 

In addition to the beds at the ICUs, Mater Dei has 125 beds available to COVID-19 patients while there are an additional 25 at both St Thomas and Boffa. 

The Gozo hospital has 100 beds for COVID-19 patients. 

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