Ten new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Malta after a record number of tests were carried out on Thursday. 

Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gaui delivered the latest on the coronavirus situation in a news conference on Friday morning.

It is the second day in a row that the daily case tally has reached double digits after a month of very low numbers.

The new cases bring to 532 the number of coronavirus patients in Malta, although only 78 are active after six people died and 448 recovered. 

Some 1,500 tests were carried out on Thursday, which is the largest number of swabs in a single day. 

Six of the new cases showed no symptoms of the virus. Just over a fifth of all people in Malta who have been diagnosed with coronavirus were asymptomatic, Gauci said. 

 

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The new cases are:

  • A 19-year-old Maltese woman, who showed no symptoms but was found through contact tracing of another coronavirus patient. She was in quarantine. 
  • A 75-year-old Maltese man, who was screened at hospital, where he was being treated for a different medical condition. He also had no symptoms.
  • A 73-year-old who was suffering from shortness of breath and was also found through hospital screening. He is being kept at the Infectious Diseases Unit. 
  • A 56-year-old Maltese man, who experienced symptoms on May 12, and had been to work the previous day. A risk assessment is being carried out on his family and colleagues.
  • A 64-year-old Maltese woman, who also showed symptoms on May 12. She does not work outside of the home and so her family are being tested.
  • A 66-year-old Maltese man, who had to come to the hospital for an operation and was found through hospital screening, despite showing no symptoms.
  • A 50-year-old Maltese woman, who showed no symptoms but wanted to be tested. Contact tracking is being carried out with her colleagues and family. 
  • A 30-year old Maltese man who experienced symptoms on May 8 and was working from home so had no exposure to other people. 
  • A 20-year-old Italian man, who had no symptoms but was tested because he was starting a new job. 
  • A 17-year-old Maltese woman who also had no symptoms. Contact tracing is being carried out among her family and friends. 

Most of those with coronavirus are being treated at home. Three people are being treated at Boffa hospital, eight at St Thomas, three at the Infectious Diseases Unit of Mater Dei, and three at Karin Grech.

Gauci said that the authorities are still 'validating' antibody tests to find out which are the best to use to test the population's antibody response. 

'R' Factor

Asked about the virus' reproduction factor, which fell below 1 the week before some containment measures were lifted, Gauci said the number was currently around 1.3.

The reproduction number is a way of rating a disease's ability to spread and shows on average the number of people that one person can pass the virus on to.

It is calculated as an average and authorities do not just look at a single day's case number, which is why decisions about easing restrictions are not conditioned by any one day's figures, she explained. 

She reminded people to continue to wear masks, particularly on public transport, where they are mandatory. 

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