New COVID-19 strain linked to three-quarters of new cases in Malta
Gauci said that the percentage of cases linked to the more transmissible variant is increasing. Until last month, the variant first detected in Britain had accounted for just eight percent of the new cases, but Gauci said the authorities now see a steady increase in links to this variant.
Malta's health authorities reported 243 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,034. The cumulative total now stands at 27,515. Two more patients have died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 363.
Most cases are in the 20-49 age bracket, while the average age of people who tested positive over the past week was just over 39 years.
Gauci said that most of the new cases were related to household clusters, leading the health authorities to reduce the limit on private gatherings from four households to two.
This week, Malta introduced new measures, which will be in force until April 11. These include the closure of schools, all non-essential shops and those providing non-essential services, such as hairdressers and beauticians.
By Wednesday, 133,871 vaccine doses had been administered in 40 vaccination centers. ■