Updated 5.20pm, adds health authorities' statement

A total of 386 new COVID-19 infections were reported on Tuesday, the second-highest daily total registered in Malta since the start of the pandemic. 

It is the first time that daily case numbers have topped the 300-mark since March of this year, when Malta experienced a peak in newly-detected infections. 

The highest daily total, of 510 new cases, was recorded on March 10. At the time hospital cases were so high that five Intensive Treatment Units were in operation. 

Tuesday's data, released by the Health Ministry, showed that there are currently 40 patients in hospital, with five requiring intensive treatment. 

On Monday, there were 42 virus patients in hospital, with five of those requiring treatment at the Mater Dei Hospital Intensive Treatment Unit. 

Seventy-one patients recovered from the virus overnight between Monday and Tuesday while no deaths were reported. As a result, there are currently 2,505 active virus cases in the country.

Healthcare workers administered 3,674 vaccine doses on Monday. So far, 1,016,374 doses have been administered in total while 175,395 people have received their booster dose so far.

Anyone aged 35 and over can currently register for their booster vaccine dose by visiting https://vaccin.gov.mt/

So far, Malta has not detected any cases of the Omicron variant, but the most recent test results from Sunday were obtained from samples taken five days prior.

Speaking to Times of Malta on Monday, Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci said she expected the highly transmissible variant would be detected very soon.

She said that 85% of people with the virus are showing mild symptoms, such as a cough, and encouraged people to book their booster and for parents to vaccinate their children when they receive invites next week.

Meanwhile, the 111 helpline for booking free COVID-19 tests has been inundated, with people being told to wait up to a week for appointments. 

In a statement later, the health authorities reminded people who test positive that they should immediately isolate themselves in obligatory quarantine for 14 days. This was also the case for any other person who lived in the same residence.

To avoid the spread of the virus, the authorities said, people who test positive should also prepare a list of people they had been in close contact with in the two days prior to the test or to their developing symptoms, whichever came first.

They also encouraged everyone to take their vaccine and to keep following the measures aimed to prevent the spread of the virus.


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