A man with health complications and the first coronavirus diagnosis in Gozo are among 11 new cases confirmed overnight, bringing the total number to 64.

In her daily briefing, Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci said one of the cases was a 61-year-old who also has bilateral pneumonia and is being treated in Mater Dei Hospital.

She said that the diagnosis of a patient with health complications showed that it was key that the public followed instructions to protect the vulnerable by staying at home where possible and avoiding large crowds. 

"We had reports of people going out anyway to places where there are a lot of other people. We need the entire population to listen to our advice," she said.

The fact is that there have been deaths abroad and there is a risk there will be deaths here too, Gauci said. 

"It's crucial to abide by our rules. You could be the person who breaks the chain," she said. 

Authorities conducted 249 tests for the virus on Thursday, with 11 testing positive. In total, authorities have conducted 2,236 tests, with 64 positives. 

She outlined the details of the new cases:

The first case is a Gozitan man, aged 69, who had symptoms on March 16 including fever.
Gauci said he had not been abroad and not in contact with any others who had recently travelled.

On March 10, he was in a meeting with others and the probability is that he contracted the virus there.

"That is why we have been urging people to avoid close contact," she said. 

The second case was 63-year-old Man who had recently been to Italy. On March 14, he started exhibiting symptoms and had been under quarantine as from March 11.

The third case is 3 a 45-year-old man who on March 17 returned from Istanbul. He was with another person who also exhibited symptoms and the authorities are waiting for test results.

The fourth case is a Maltese woman, aged 49, who was identified as a healthcare worker. 

On March 17, this patient exhibited fever and aches and pains. Guaci said the authorities had found that as she had not been abroad or in contact with any other patients, th authorities had started contact tracing. 

The fifth case is another Maltese woman, aged 71, who is the partner of another confirmed case.

That man had been hospitalised on March 16.

His partner works with tourists and so the probability is that this is where the virus had come from. This is a confirmed cluster of two people.

The sixth case is a 36-year-old woman, who is a healthcare worker, She started exhibiting symptoms on March 14, and likely had contact with another healthcare worker who had already tested positive. 

Gauci said that this patient had been put under quarantine and the authorities are trying to trace any contacts at her work place.

The seventh case is a Spanish man, 54, who works in Malta. He was in Madrid between March 7 and 17 and started exhibiting symtpoms at the end of his trip. He has been in quarantine ever since.  Authorities are contact tracing for those on the flight. 

The eighth case is an Indian man, 31, who lives and works in Malta. 

He is part of a cluster of four already confirmed cases who all worked together. 

The source of this cluster is work-related and that is why the authorities have been have been encouraging people to tele-work and for employers to support this, Guaci said.

First case with complications

The ninth case is a 61-year-old Maltese man who showed symptoms on March 13 and was later admitted to Mater Dei. This patient has bilateral pneumonia, the first case with complications.

"He is not in critical condition and so is not yet in ITU, but we are monitoring him closely," Guaci said. 

His partner, 45, who also had symptoms is the tenth case after also testing positive.

The eleventh case is the 30-year-old mother of a three-year-old boy who had already tested positive. Gauci said she is in good health and started showing symptoms on March 18.

The total number of cases is now 64.

No indication of airborne transmission

Gauci said there is no indication of any airborne transmission in Malta at this point.

The only mode of transmission identified so far is "aerosolised transmission" from one person to the other, she said 

Official recovery is only confirmed when a patient tests negative twice, with tests done 24 hours apart.

Malta had 38 confirmed Coronavirus cases up to Tuesday. The first local case, in an Italian girl, was reported on March 7.   

The government last week moved to stop the number of imported cases by banning travel from Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and France and later by ordering arrivals from all countries to observe two weeks of mandatory quarantine.

It also introduced several measures to prevent community spread, including a ban on large gatherings, the closure of all schools and the suspension of all religious services. Bars and restaurants have been told they can only offer delivery services.  

Court cases were put off and non-essential medical services postponed.

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