The Maltese health authorities are taking all the necessary precautions required for the outbreak of COVID-19, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister said in a statement.
“In view of the expected spread to affect other countries apart from China, including European countries, the authorities had initiated screening of all passengers coming from affected countries. In view of the situation in Italy, screening is being enhanced by introducing thermal screening at points of entry. During this coming week, thermal screening cameras will be installed at the Malta International Airport, whereby all inbound passengers will be screened. This will also be implemented in the cruise liner and catamaran terminals. Thermal screening is a mode of screening for the large number of people passing through points of entry. Any persons who will be identified as having a fever will be assessed further.”
The health authorities appeal for cooperation from the general public for screening of people for early identification of cases and reminds the public to contact the helpline on 21324086 or their doctor if they have travelled to affected areas and have any respiratory symptoms within 14 days from their return and not to go directly to health centres or hospital.
The health authorities also appeal for cooperation in public health measures being taken in the investigation of suspected cases, isolation, contact tracing and quarantine.
Situation in Italy
COVID-19 has reached Italy’s Lombardia region on Friday after a 38-year old man dined with a friend who had just returned from China, despite testing negative.
Shortly after two other people were diagnosed with the virus, and the numbers started increasing. New cases were recorded in a small town in the Valtellina region, in the Pavese region, whilst as of this morning, the number of cases in the Lombardia region reached 89, while those in Veneto reached 25, as well as 2 in Emilia Romagna and 2 in Regione Lazio.
In light of all of this, the Italian Authorities are taking all the necessary precautions to try and contain the COVID-19 outbreak as much as possible. People are being advised to not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. Four Serie A Games have been postponed to a new date, which is still to be set. Inter-Sampdoria, Atalanta-Sassuolo, Verona-Cagliari and Torino-Parma will have to be played probably some time this week.
Various large-scale public events in Milan will probably also be postponed, with the first one being the National MyPlant and Garden Fair which was to be held from the 26th to the 28th February. There are also calls for schools to be closed temporarily, with the Italian Education Minister putting a temporary stop to school outings.