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No alarm COVID cases health minister

Health Minister reassures no need for alarm over COVID surge in June, cases not causing stress on health services. Practice personal hygiene.

Health Minister Jo-Etienne Abela reassured the public that the recent surge in COVID cases in June should not be a cause for alarm. Despite 232 confirmed cases and three deaths since the beginning of the month, Abela emphasized that there is no need to panic.

The three individuals who succumbed to the disease were elderly, between the ages of 70 and 86. Currently, Mater Dei Hospital is treating 83 COVID patients, none of whom are in the Intensive Care Unit. Additionally, there are eight patients at the Saint Vincent de Paul home for the elderly.

Abela explained that the spike in cases is likely due to the highly transmissible nature of the virus, similar to other viruses like the influenza and common cold. However, he assured the public that the cases are not more severe than expected and are not overwhelming the healthcare system.

Most of the COVID cases in Malta are of the JN.1 variant, a subvariant of the Omicron variant. Despite this, there have been three cases of the more transmissible LB.1 variant reported. Abela stressed the importance of personal care and hygiene practices, such as handwashing and the use of hand sanitizers.

While mandatory mask-wearing is not being reintroduced, vulnerable individuals are encouraged to wear masks if they feel more comfortable doing so. Abela reiterated that there is no need for alarm and that the situation is being closely monitored. It is essential for the public to remain vigilant and follow recommended health guidelines to prevent the further spread of the virus.

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