A single case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Malta overnight, with 39 people recovering from the illness.

Superintendent of Public Health, Charmaine Gauci made the announcement in her latest update on COVID-19. 

It comes after Health Minister Chris Fearne announced some of the measures to prevent the spread of the virus could be lifted within days.

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The total number of cases now stands at 445, but just under half of those, 204 people, have since recovered.

The single case of coronavirus confirmed overnight came after 641 tests were carried out - a lower number of tests than has been reported on other days. 

This positive patient is a 31-year-old Libyan man, who had no symptoms but was tested. She said he tested positive in a pilot "random screening test" but gave no further details, despite being pressed by journalists. 

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Malta's virus reproduction rate drops

Gauci said the rate of reproduction of the virus is "slowly going down" and had dropped below 1.

This means that each patient with coronavirus is now infecting less than one other person. Germany began lifting its coronavirus prevention measures after its virus reproduction rate had reached below R0 1.

However Gauci said: "We need to monitor closely in case the reproduction rate goes up again."

She said the low numbers were down to measures and the public's co-operation with them and that authorities had prepared for higher numbers of cases than they were currently recording.

"That is why we had taken certain steps and had a contingency plan," she said. "The fact is that the measures have helped us keep numbers down."

Asked by Times of Malta for an explanation of the lower number of tests being carried out, Gauci said the number of tests was "very much dependent on how much people come to us for testing".

She has previously complained that hundreds of people a day were failing to show up for their coronavirus test.

 

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