Hospital admissions, and not active cases, are being viewed as a key criterion to assess the COVID-19 situation, Health Minister Chris Fearne has confirmed.
“We’ve always said from the start that we don’t want our hospitals to be deluged by a tsunami of cases, but rather a small stream of cases that will allow them to handle the demand,” Fearne said on Pjazza last night.
“We aren’t worried by positive tests who are asymptomatic or lightly symptomatic, but by people who end up in ITU, spend weeks there and even lose their life.”
With the vast majority of Maltese residents now inoculated against the virus, Fearne said the data shows the vaccine is proving effective in slowing both infections and hospital admissions.
He said around 90% of Malta’s newly-detected COVID-19 cases were unvaccinated, while the three patients who were admitted to hospital with the virus over the past week weren’t inoculated either.
Fearne also referred to the situation in the United Kingdom, which has recently seen a spike in new COVID-19 cases which isn’t correlated with a spike in hospital admissions and deaths.
“It’s probably people who are unvaccinated who are being admitted to hospital,” he said of the UK, which recently announced it was scrapping most COVID-19 restrictions on 19th July.
Malta is taking a way more cautious stance, removing restrictions bit by bit and announcing the next plans weeks in advance.
Yesterday, Malta allowed seated organised events to resume with several restrictions and announced a post-Santa Marija target date for the return of standing events.
Do you think Malta should follow the UK in lifting most COVID-19 restrictions at once?