Malta now has three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus as the parents of the first local patient tested positive too.
They are being kept in isolation at Mater Dei.
In a statement, Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed the latest news and said the parents of the 12-year-old Italian child had already been isolated at Mater Dei with her earlier today.
“This situation is contained within the family who followed advice by the Health Authorities and, since returning from Italy, remained in self-quarantine,” he said. “We would like to reassure the public that these cases are being kept in isolation.”
“To date, 181 tests have been carried out on people who were travelling in affected areas and developed symptoms. Only the 3 above family members tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, 157 tests have also been carried as part of the surveillance programme and tested negative for COVID-19.”
“We would like to remind the public that there is no need for alarm and to take the necessary preventive measures of washing hands regularly, covering nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing and staying home if sick. For further information, you may call the COVID-19 helpline on 111.”
Earlier today, Fearne confirmed that a 12-year-old Italian girl who lives in Malta tested positive for the virus shortly after returning from a family holiday to Northern Italy where the virus is widespread.
They arrived back in Malta on Tuesday but the virus went undetected by the airport’s thermal scanners because it was still in its incubation stage.
He said the patient, her two parents and her younger sister all quarantined themselves at home as per the Health Department’s advice for patients returning from countries and regions highly impacted by the coronavirus.