Nineteen people tested positive for COVID-19 overnight, authorities said on Friday, while 37 patients recovered from the virus. 

The new figures brought the number of active coronavirus cases in Malta down to 406 as of 12.30pm. So far, Malta has had 1,984 confirmed cases since March. 

A further 27 people who are being held in migrant detention centres also tested positive for the virus during the last 24 hours. Migrants who test positive are excluded from official COVID-19 statistics, following an agreement with the European Centre for Disease Contol. 

1,869 tests were carried out between Thursday and Friday, bringing up the total number of tests since the pandemic reached Malta in March to 198,883.

Superintendent of Health Charmaine Gauci is addressing a weekly press conference about the pandemic situation in Malta. The conference is being streamed live.

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Earlier this week, Gauci said that the rate of spread of COVID-19 - the R factor- was down to 1.2.

However, she insisted that Malta is still "not out of the woods" yet.

On Wednesday the government published a set of guidelines for the safe reopening of schools, however, the union of professional educators will be launching an industrial dispute over discrepancies between the published document and what could be achieved practically for a classroom to function. 

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