Superintendent of Public Health Prof. Charmaine Gauci has played down the potential implications of Malta’s sudden rise in new COVID-19 cases on the country’s transition strategy.
“We confirmed more cases than usual today but we must remember that our numbers are quite low and small numbers make a difference to the rate of transmission,” she said. “We had a situation early on when we confirmed 52 cases in one day, the largest yet, but we don’t only look at spikes.”
“When we observe the number of cases, how they will impact the measures we relax and when, we look at the rolling average reflected in the RT factor.”
Malta confirmed 14 new COVID-19 cases today, its highest rise in new cases since 11th April, as well as seven new recoveries.
However, the health authorities have always maintained that the main strategy is to ensure hospitals can cope with the demand and, as it stands, the number of hospitalisations remains low.
Only one patient is receiving treatment at Mater Dei, two at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, four at St Thomas Hospital and three at Karen Grech Hospital. No one is currently receiving intensive care.
Prof. Gauci also played down concerns on the high rate of healthcare workers who have tested positive for the virus, with the latest four confirmed today.
She said the high rate of confirmed infections among healthcare workers doesn’t necessarily reflect an abnormally high rate of actual infections, but rather the fact that “rigorous” testing is being carried out among them.
“Healthcare workers also form part of the community so the risk of them catching the virus from the community is similar to the risk other people face,” she said.
“We are finding more positive healthcare workers because we’re conducting a rigorous random testing study to catch both those workers with symptoms and those who are asymptomatic.”