A 40-year-old man has died while COVID-positive, health authorities reported on Saturday, as Malta recorded 917 new COVID-19 infections on Christmas Day.

The 917 new cases is marginally lower than the 955 cases detected one day ago, which is the highest single-day figure in the pandemic so far.  

Saturday's 40-year-old victim was the 474th person to die while COVID-positive in Malta. 

A total of 96 patients recovered overnight. As a result, the number of active cases currently stands at a record 5,289.

There are currently 68 virus patients receiving treatment in hospital, with four requiring intensive treatment at Mater Dei Hospital. On Friday, there were 70 hospitalised patients with five in ITU. 

According to Superintendence of Public Health records, 7286 tests were administered on December 24, resulting in a positivity rate of 12.6 per cent. 

Data released by the health ministry indicated that healthcare workers administered 2,593 vaccine doses on Christmas Eve. So far, 187,277 people have received a booster shot.

Malta's COVID-19 vaccination drive continues on Christmas Day, with Health Minister Chris Fearne having thanked those working to inoculate people through the holiday period.  

Authorities are currently sending out invitations to vaccinate children aged between five and 11. 

Registrations for booster doses are currently open to all residents aged 35 and over. To register, visit https://vaccin.gov.mt/. Registration will open to all adults as of Monday. 

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