Three new COVID-19 cases were reported overnight after 1,241 tests, the Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci said on Tuesday.

All were related to contacts with previous known cases.

She also announced that a 72-year-old man who was in intensive care for a lengthy period of time before being moved to another ward had now recovered enough to be taken home. He was admitted to hospital six weeks ago.

"This is good news for all of us," she said, while thanking and praising all the medical staff involved.  

Gauci said no other patients had recovered overnight, with the number of active cases now at 67. Total recoveries so far were 434.

She said the new cases were a 58-year-old  man who was in contact with a mother and daughter who tested positive on Monday. He had no symptoms
and was diagnosed after contact tracing.

The other two cases were related to a Mater Dei ward where a positive case had been identified a few days ago. They are two workers, a 54-year man and a 44-year-old woman.

So far 30 workers have tested positive at Mater Dei.

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Gauci said there are now three COVID-19 patients in Boffa Hospital,  three in St Thomas and one currently being discharged from the Infectious Diseases Unit. , One is in intensive care. 

No COVID-19 found among migrants held off Malta

While replying to questions, Gauci said none of the migrants being held on two Captain Morgan boats off Malta had tested positive to COVID 19.

In other points, she reiterated her appeals for the public to use masks when shopping and to take safety precautions such as alcohol rubs with 60% alcohol content at least.

Skolasajf concerns

Asked about teachers' concerns about the opening of Skolasajf in July, Gauci said talks were being held with the Education Ministry on a plan for the reopening of schools and mitigation measures that could be taken when it was felt that the time was right for schools, including Skolasajf, to reopen.

She said social distancing was the best way to control the virus and it needed to be maintained until a vaccine was available. In this context she referred to calls for people to go on holidays in farmhouses, saying the advice remained that households should not, for now, mingle with other households. 

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