A man and a woman, both aged 77, have died while positive for COVID-19, the health authorities said on Friday.

Their deaths bring this week's COVID-linked death toll to six. So far, 468 people have died while positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, a further 56 people tested positive for the virus overnight, while 58 recovered.

The number of known active cases in Malta stands at 1,003, with 12 people receiving treatment in hospital, including two in intensive care.

According to the same government data, published on the Facebook page Saħħa, 107,776 booster doses have been administered so far.

In all, 942,729 jabs have been administered in 11 months, with 92% of Malta's population is fully vaccinated. 

On Friday, Malta said it was banning travel to and from six southern African countries after scientists announced they had discovered a new, highly infectious COVID-19 variant. 

Just 24 hours before, Europe had reached the grim milestone of 1.5 million coronavirus deaths.

But in separate news, the EU's drug regulator approved Pfizer's coronavirus jab for children aged five to 11, clearing the way for the vaccination in a cohort where the virus is rapidly spreading.

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