The Nationalist Party has called for regulated self-testing for COVID-19 in view of a 'breakdown' in the testing and contact tracing system.

The party said that in view of a persistently high number of new COVID-19 cases, the government needed to be transparent in its decision-making.

The government also needs to say which virus variant is currently dominant in Malta.

Times of Malta reported earlier on Monday how the government has been silent on the number of cases of the Omricon variant after announcing the first two cases before Christmas. 

The party said the introduction of self-testing kits could ease the testing backlog caused by the government owing to a lack of planning. 

Self-testing kits are technically illegal in Malta. 

Last week, Charmaine Gauci, superintendent of public health, argued against self-testing kits, saying that since they are uncomfortable to take, many people would invariably handle them wrongly, and there could be many false negatives. 

In November, she explained that well-trained staff, proper swabbing techniques and specific protocols in place, together with the use of high-quality test kits, had allowed for the public to be swabbed with test results that are as reliable as possible.

Chief medical officer Walter Busuttil has also expressed scepticism about the kits, saying last week that there was no plan to allow them to be sold or used in Malta. 

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