Coronavirus à Malte infos

CORONAVIRUS IN MALTA : INFOS AND UPDATES

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Not a very cheerful post, but a useful one : here are the latest developments concerning the coronavirus disease in Malta. I know that some of you intend to visit Malta soon, so I think it’s important to let you know what is going on in the country.

Therefore, I have gathered here the latest news about coronavirus in Malta, to keep you informed, in real-time if I can. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section, and I will do my best to answer them.

CORONAVIRUS TOLL IN MALTA
Cases : 227 – Deaths : 0 – Recoveries : 2

COMPULSORY FULL QUARANTINE (14 DAYS) FOR
  • Anyone arriving from abroad (and people living with them) ; each violation is subject to a 3,000€ fine.
  • Anyone who tested positive for coronavirus (and people living with them) ; each violation is subject to a 10,000€ fine.
  • Anyone required to do so by the health services ; each violation is subject to a 10,000€ fine.

Quarantine means that leaving the house is strictly forbidden, for any reason.

COMPULSORY LOCKDOWN FOR
  • People aged 65 and over.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People with chronic illnesses.

These persons are allowed to leave home briefly to buy food or medicines, to attend important health appointments, or to take care of animals.

FLIGHTS SUSPENDED
  • All flights to and from Malta are suspended from March 21 to at least April 11 (except for repatriations, cargo flights, etc).
  • The situation will then be reassessed.

→ Coronavirus in Malta in real-time

The situation sunday April 5 at 3 pm
  • There have been 14 new cases in the past 24 hours. All were locally transmitted. The total is up to 227 cases.
  • So far, more than 10,000 tests have been undertaken in Malta.
The situation saturday April 4 at 2 pm
  • There have been 11 new cases in the past 24 hours. All were locally transmitted. The total is up to 213 cases.
  • Each day, more than 500 tests are being carried out. So far, around 2% of the maltese population has been tested for coronavirus.
The situation friday April 3 at 1.30 pm
  • Like yesterday, seven new cases of coronavirus have been registered in Malta. The total is currently 202.
The situation thursday April 2 at 1 pm
  • Seven new cases of coronavirus in Malta today, 195 so far. The condition of the 71-year-old man who is on a ventilator is slowly improving. A second person is being monitored in ITU. 26 additional people are hospitalized, the others are home in quarantine.
The situation wednesday April 1 at 9 pm
  • Nineteen new cases of coronavirus in Malta today, 188 so far. Fourteen of these new cases were locally transmitted.
The situation tuesday March 31 at 10 pm
  • Thirteen new coronavirus cases in Malta today, for a total of 169. A man is still on a ventilator in ITU.
  • From now on, people need a valid reason to use the Gozo ferry : work, medical reasons, visiting relatives, deliveries. Passengers will all be screened before boarding (temperature and possible symptoms).
The situation monday March 30 at 8.30 pm
  • Five new cases have been registered in Malta today, which brings the total to 156.
  • Public gatherings of more than three people, even spontaneous, are now forbidden and subject to a 100€ fine per person. This does not apply to people living under the same roof.
The situation sunday March 29 at 8.30 pm
  • Two new cases have been registered in Malta today, which brings the total to 151.
The situation saturday March 28 at 6.30 pm
  • Ten new cases have been registered in Malta today, which brings the total to 149.
  • Three patients are currently in ITU : a 61-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman who are in stable condition, and a 71-year-old man who is in critical condition and on a ventilator.
  • Malta and Gozo’s schools will stay closed until next scholastic year, i.e October 2020 (children in Malta go back to school later than other countries because of the heat).
  • The World Health Organisation announced that Malta is a “model country” in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
The situation friday March 27 at 7 pm
  • Five new cases today, the total is now 139. Among these patients, only 32 are currently in the hospital, and they are all in good health.
    For now, more than 4,660 tests have been done on the population, making Malta one of the countries with the best test ratio per inhabitant.
  • Yesterday, we learned that a lockdown was imposed for people over 65. Today, some new details have been added :  individuals who live under the same roof as old people have to go under lockdown as well. They are allowed to leave home only to go to work, buy food or medicine.
The situation thursday March 26 at 6 pm
  • The maltese government just announced that a mandatory lockdown has been put into place for people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic illnesses. These persons will not be allowed to leave home, unless they have an important health appointment or a special authorization. If they can not work from home, they will be entitled to a special leave.
  • The rest of the population is still advised to stay home as much as possible.
  • Public gatherings of 5 people or more are forbidden.
The situation thursday March 26 at 2.30 pm
  • Five new cases today, which brings the total number to 134.
  • Two new testing hubs have been installed. One in Pembroke (Malta) et the second one in Gozo, at the Xewkija heliport. The aim is to test at least 400 new people every day.
The situation wednesday March 25 at 1 pm
  • Nineteen new coronavirus cases have been recorded in Malta these past 24 hours. The total is now 129. All patients are in good health, and the 61-year-old man who is in ITU is no longer in a critical condition.
The situation wednesday March 25 at 9.30 am
  • I came across a very practical site for anyone residing in Malta or Gozo at the moment : Lista, a directory of all the businesses that carry home deliveries on the archipelago.
  • The Maltese Prime Minister announced new economic measures against the coronavirus last night. This is just an outline, if you want more details, you can find press articles which explain the measures better than I do.
    Workers and business owners who had to stop working because of the coronavirus, will receive around 1,200€ per month.
    Full-time employees affected will receive 800€ from the State, and their employer will have to give them 400€, to get to 1,200€. Employers who are unable to pay this amount can ask for a special permission.
    Part-time employees will receive 500€ from the state.
    The other sectors, which have been less affected by the current crisis, will also receive financial aid. The State will give one day’s salary per week to Maltese employees, and two days’ salary per week to Gozitan employees, for a monthly maximum of 800€.
    Self-employed people should receive three days’ salary a week.
    These measures will cost 65 to 70 million euros per month to the Maltese state, and will be applied for at least three months (from the beginning of April).
    Public sector salaries will remain unchanged.
  • Several Maltese ministers, including the Prime Minister, the Economy Minister and the Tourism Minister, have pledged to forfeit their salaries for the coming month.

The situation tuesday March 24 at 2 pm
  • Only three new coronavirus cases have been recorded in Malta these past 24 hours.
    Since the beginning of the crisis, around 3,300 tests have been carried out in Malta, with 110 positive.
The situation monday March 23 at 1 pm
  • Seventeen new coronavirus cases in Malta today, bringing the total to 107.
    Like yesterday, 7 of these new cases were locally transmitted.
    Among the 107 patients, 60 are currently at home, under strict quarantine. The others are being treated at the hospital, but they’re in good health. One patient is in ITU.
The situation sunday March 22 at 5 pm
  • Seventeen new cases have been recorded in Malta in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 90.
    10 of these patients have traveled recently, the other 7 were locally transmitted.
    Over two-thirds of Malta’s patients are at home, in strict quarantine, and do not need to be hospitalized.
  • Following this new record number, the Health Minister has announced the closure of all non-essential stores, starting tomorrow morning. This includes, among other things, clothing, toy, electronics or furniture stores, as well as hairdressers or beauty salons.
    Remain open : food stores, pet stores, postal, banking and medical services, telecommunication services…
  • Public gatherings will be banned from tomorrow morning. More information will be provided at that time.
  • Anyone who breaks any of these rules will be fined 3,000€.
The situation sunday March 22 at 7.30 am

Some news about our general and personal situation in Gozo :

  • For the moment, we are not subject to compulsory confinement. The maltese government asks the population to stay home as much as possible, but people can move as they please without having to justify themselves.
    Nevertheless, the maltese are acting quite reasonably and most of them are following this advice.
    The only people required to observe strict quarantine for 14 days are those who are returning from abroad, or those who have been in contact with known cases.
    At home, we have been in voluntary confinement since Sunday, March 15. My partner is the only one who goes out occasionally to buy groceries.
  • The spread of the epidemic is well under control for the time being. Lots of tests have been done on people at risk of getting the virus. As soon as a new person is tested positive, the health services trace all the contacts this person may have had in recent days to warn them and also test them.
  • I don’t know if this is the case everywhere on the archipelago, but our local pharmacy no longer accepts customers inside : the pharmacist gives the products through a hatch on the door. People you are paying by card have to give him/her the code.
    Our local grocery stores will stop receiving customers from monday, March 23 but will operate home deliveries.
    The largest supermarkets in Gozo still accept customers, but protections are gradually being put in place : queues, staff protected with plastic tarps or windows, etc.
    If several people from the same family come to shop together, only one will be allowed to enter.
  • According to my grocer, the food supply will take place only once a week from now on, and will probably be organized by the government.
    Right now, grocers in Gozo have approximately two weeks of stock. With only one weekly supply, we can expect shortages on some products, but nothing dramatic.
The situation saturday March 21 at 12.30am
  • Nine new cases today, the total is 73.
The situation friday March 20 at 12.30am
  • There are eleven new cases of coronavirus in Malta, including a first case in Gozo. The total rises to 64 known cases.
  • The patients are all in good health, except for a 61-year-old man who has developed complications. Most of them are at home, in quarantine.
    There have been two recoveries in Malta.
The situation thursday March 19 at 12am
  • Five new cases have been registered in Malta these past 24 hours. The current number of patients is 53.
The situation wednesday March 18 at 4.30pm
  • Malta has ten new COVID-19 cases, wich bring the current total to 48. All are in good condition.
The situation wednesday March 18 at 8.30am
  • All flights departing from or arriving to Malta will be suspended from March 21 to April 11. The situation will then be reassessed.
    The following flights are not affected : repatriations, humanitarian flights, cargo flights.
The situation tuesday March 17 at 12.30am
  • Eight new cases have been registered in Malta, bringing the total number to 38, including a 3-year-old boy. One of the patients had no contact with the other known patients nor with anyone arriving from abroad, which shows that the virus is now transmitted locally.
    All patients are in good condition.
  • Buses, bus shelters and terminals will be regularly fumigated.
The situation monday March 16 at 5pm
  • The maltese Prime Minister has announced the closure of all bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms from Tuesday at midnight.
  • He asked all Maltese currently on holiday abroad to return to Malta as soon as possible, and all tourists currently in Malta to leave as soon as possible.
  • The fine for failure to comply with compulsory quarantine increases from 1 000 € to 3,000 €.
The situation monday March 16 at 12.30am
  • Nine new cases have been recorded in Malta. Among them, 3 cases were locally transmitted (and not imported). Malta is, therefore, entering a new stage.
    The total number of cases is now 30, with 2 cured. Still 0 case in Gozo.
  • The 28 sick people are all in good health, so much so that they could have stayed home. They are only hospitalized for isolation reasons.
The situation sunday March 15 at 4.30pm
  • All commercial vessels and water sports operators received the order to stop disembarking people in Gozo and Comino.
The situation sunday March 15 at 12.30am
  • Three new cases of coronavirus have just been registered in Malta, which brings the current number to 21.
    So far, all cases in Malta have been imported. There is no local transmission at this stage.
The situation sunday March 15 at 11.30am
  • A second person has been cured in Malta. The total amounts to 18 infected (all in good health) and 2 cured.
  • The Prime Minister announced that the situation is calm and completely under control on the archipelago, thanks to the proactive actions of the government.
  • Malta hospital, Mater Dei, has set up spaces dedicated to potential coronavirus patients. 680 beds will be made available in Malta. 80 beds will be made available at Gozo hospital.
  • Children from Malta and Gozo are invited to draw rainbows and hang them on their balconies or windows. Most of the drawings contain messages, such as “stay at home”, “everything will be fine” or “respect each other and everything will be okay”.
The situation saturday March 14 at 3.30pm
  • The Maltese Prime Minister has announced that the 18 infected people are currently all in good health and do not show any particular symptoms. Among these people, a woman has been cured and went back home yesterday. They are obviously all kept in quarantine for now.
  • All museums, theaters, cultural events are closed or canceled until further notice.
The situation saturday March 14 at 10.30am
  • Five new cases of coronavirus have been registered in Malta. This brings the total number to 18, with one cured. Still no case in Gozo.
The situation saturday March 14 at 8am
  • A thirteenth person tested positive for coronavirus in Malta.
The situation friday March 13 at 6pm
  • A woman, among the first people to contract the virus in Malta, is cured. She is still under quarantine as a precaution.
  • Maltese lawyers have received an official order to stop going to court.
The situation friday March 13 at 12am
  • There are twelve cases of coronavirus in Malta, none in Gozo. They’re all in good condition. There are no deaths.
    The first cases were of various Italian nationals living in Malta, who were returning from holidays in Italy. Some have not quarantined themselves after their return.
  • The population fears a future national lockdown and is stocking up on food. There are queues to enter the supermarkets, only a few people are allowed inside at the same time.

Measures taken in Malta against the coronavirus

  • Flights are suspended from March 21 to April 11 (except repatriations, cargo flights, etc).
  • Anyone arriving to Malta from abroad – regardless of the country of origin – must undergo compulsory quarantine for 14 days. Each violation is subject to a 3,000€ fine.
  • Lockdown for : people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses.
  • Closed : childcare centers and all types of schools (until next scholastic year), museums and tourist places, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, cinemas, theaters, non-essential stores (clothing, toys, hairdressers…).
    Restaurants are allowed to serve take away and do home deliveries. Stores are allowed to do home deliveries as well.
  • Canceled / forbidden : masses, cultural and religious events, various activities, public gatherings of 3 people or more.
  • A valid reason is needed to take the ferry between Malta and Gozo (work, medical reasons, visiting relatives, deliveries). All passengers will be screened before boarding. The ferries will be fumigated every night.
  • If you take the bus, you must give the exact amount to buy your ticket from the driver, because they are no longer allowed to give change (the ticket costs 1,50€).
  • Commercial vessels and water sports operators are not allowed to disembark people in Gozo and Comino.
  • Buses, bus shelters and terminals will be regularly fumigated.

→ Why such measures ?

The Maltese government took strong actions, quickly. Malta has around 490,000 inhabitants and is a very densely populated country : the situation could deteriorate very quickly if the number of infected persons increases.
20% of the Maltese population is over the age of 65.
Only one hospital would be able to manage a crisis with serious cases (Mater Dei), but the number of beds is limited. The government is currently taking steps to set aside 680 beds, fully dedicated to the coronavirus situation.

Precautions are needed, but no need to panic

For the moment, the situation seems to be under control in Malta, but it is everyone’s duty to limit the spread. Stay at home if you can, respect the hygiene advice and cancel your trips abroad.

The Maltese are preparing for the possibility of a national lockdown and are stockpiling food. It is advised to run errands so that you can last at least a week without having to go out, but don’t store astronomical quantities, because other people need supplies too.

It should be noted that the Maltese government is taking good measures to contain the virus, which is encouraging. The authorities did not wait for the situation to escalate.
The population also takes good precautions : many people wear gloves and masks, especially store employees.
The main risk is a cut in the food supply from the continent (especially from Italy), but Malta has enough stock to feed its population for a while. The archipelago also has agricultural production capable of feeding its inhabitants (basically, we won’t starve).
Overall, the population, although stressed, is calm and responsible.

What to do in case of symptoms ?

If you are in Malta and you have coronavirus symptoms, you should definitely not go out. Stay at home and call 111.
Call 112 (emergencies) only if really necessary.

If you are quarantined in Malta

You can call +356 21 41 14 11 to have food or medicine delivered to you.

For additional information, you can contact +356 21 32 40 86.


I’m sending my support to those who need it, wherever you are.
To finish on a lighter note with a bit of humor, here is a good Spotify playlist to pass the time if you are quarantined…

 

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