Malta’s COVID-19 mortality rate is now the highest in Europe, after shooting up past Spain to reach 3.6 deaths per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. 

In a daily update from the latest figures supplied by European countries published on Wednesday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported that Malta's 14-day average mortality rate is now the highest among the 31 European countries it tracks. 

A total of 35 COVID-19 patients have died since March, with seven known victims since Friday. Times of Malta is informed that five of these cases were patients who lived in homes for the elderly. 

The latest death was that of an 85-year-old man on Wednesday.

Video: Claire Caruana

In recent weeks, the number of deaths spiked after a number of cases were detected in homes for the elderly. At least a quarter of all the deaths have been cases from these homes. 

The ECDC last week listed Malta as one of seven EU countries of “high concern” due to the rising COVID-19 rates. At the time, Spain and Romania both had higher death rates over the previous 14 days. They now have the second and third highest rates, after Malta. 

Times of Malta is informed there are currently seven people being treated at Mater Dei's ITU. 

Asked about the rising death rate earlier on Tuesday, Health Minister Chris Fearne told Times of Malta that every death is “tragic”. 

“Unfortunately, around the world, we have seen that more than one million COVID-19 deaths were registered in recent days.

“In Malta, every death worries us and naturally, we do everything possible to keep these numbers as low as possible,” he said. 

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