A Maltese man who has become critically ill after contracting COVID-19 will hopefully soon be airlifted to Malta for treatment, Malta’s High Commissioner in India Rueben Gauci has told Lovin Malta.
Gauci confirmed that the man hadn’t yet left Delhi but said he was hopeful this would soon happen. He also confirmed that both the man’s wife and their newly adopted daughter had tested negative for the virus.
“It’s a decision that needs to be taken by the medical and aviation experts,” Gauci said, adding that it was difficult to give a date at this point since this could change at any moment for a number of logistical reasons.
He said the case was particularly complicated given that COVID-19 made people who had it particularly vulnerable to changes in pressure and oxygen levels.
The man would likely be flown to Malta on a direct flight. It wasn’t yet clear whether his wife and daughter would be accompanying him, however.
Gauci said he was currently working around the clock to ensure that the man is able to be brought to Malta as soon as possible.
He also said that there were currently three other couples in India who were there to adopt a child, despite travel advice telling people not to travel to the country.
“We understand that some people will have been trying to adopt for a long time and it is a noble cause. If people absolutely must travel our advice is to stay inside and not leave their hotel room,” Gauci said.
The pandemic is currently raging through India, with a record 352,000 cases registered on Monday. The number of new cases today was down slightly to roughly 323,000, though Gauci added that this didn’t mean it had started to subside.
India is currently experiencing a shortage of beds and oxygen as a result of the virus’ spread. Like many other countries, Gauci said that Malta was currently discussing ways it could help India.
“We have good bilateral relations with India. There are also many Indian nationals living in Malta so we feel it is our duty to help out during this time of crisis,” Gauci said.
In addition to people travelling to India to adopt, Gauci said there were some 20 other people known to be living in Malta, some of whom, mainly Maltese missionaries, have been there for some 40 years. The more senior residents, he said, had thankfully been vaccinated.
Others, he said, worked for adoption agencies but luckily he said there had been no reports of any critically ill Maltese nationals.
Do you know anyone who is currently travelling through India?