Six new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Monday following 1,008 tests over 24 hours, the superintendent of public health, Charmaine Gauci has reported.

That raised the number of confirmed cases to 384.

The new cases are three Maltese men, a Norweigian woman and a Nepalese man resident in Malta, and a resident at the Ħal Far open centre.

Gauci warned the public not to take solace in the small number of cases registered on Monday. She said more cases were be expected as the pandemic had yet to peak in Malta. 

She said it hurt to still see people congregating in public despite pleas by the authorities for them to remain inside as much as possible. 

Asked by Times of Malta if there were any plans to close off access to public beaches, Gauci said people wishing to go outdoors should avoid places where people congregate.

Gauci again said it was too early to say when Malta could return back to normal. The authorities were taking an evidence-based approach. At the moment, the transmission rate meant that it is too early to start easing restrictive measures, she said.

Decision to refuse migrants 

Gauci appeared reluctant to give details about who made the call to close off Malta’s ports to asylum seekers. 

She reiterated that the authorities were there to provide care to all patients, including migrants. Gauci said the last group of migrants accepted by Malta had all tested negative for COVID-19. 

She said the decision to close Malta’s air and sea links was taken to reduce the number of people coming into Malta as much as possible.

Cases overview

Case 1: A 40-year-old Norwegian woman who initially developed a cough in March. She later developed a headache and subsequently contacted health authorities. She had been teleworking and her case is contained. 

Case 2: A 34-year-old Nepalese man who developed a fever, cough and diarrhoea on April 4. He lives in a household of 10 people. Contact tracing is being carried out on his work colleagues as well as his housemates. 

Case 3: A resident at the Ħal Far open centre who is a 24-year-old man was found to be COVID-19 positive following a battery of tests carried out on migrants at the centre. The centre is currently on lockdown. 

Case 4: A Maltese 59-year-old man who developed a fever on April 10. The authorities are investigating his workplace and home contacts.

Case 5: A 32-year-old man who lost his sense of taste and smell on April 8. He also developed a sore throat. Contacting tracing is under way. 

Case 6: A 34-year-old Maltese man tested positive after losing his sense of smell and feeling fatigued. Five work colleagues and two family members have been placed under quarantine. 

The Superintendent for Public Health urged all those contacting the 111 helpline to ensure they gave their correct contact details. She said the authorities sometimes struggled to contact people about their tests. 

Results are being sent by SMS, e-mail or being given over the phone. 

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