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New facility caring for elderly COVID-19 patients

A brand new ‘hospital’ has been set up in St Paul’s Bay. It’s receiving and caring for patients who test positive for COVID-19 in old people’s homes, ensuring that other residents remain safe.

The new facility, said Health Minister Chris Fearne yesterday, which is called The Good Samaritan, is currently caring for no less than 23 patients. He also described the facility as being of ‘very high standard’.

Last week, Superintendent of Health Charmaine Gauci said that the authorities were planning for a special unit for elderly COVID-19 patients in care homes.

During parliament, Chris Fearne warned that the coming weeks may be the toughest for Europe, including Malta, in terms of the pandemic.

“The coming weeks, for all of Europe, and Malta is part of Europe, could be the toughest since the war. This is, therefore, the time to show solidarity, to forget Partisan politics, and to work together for Malta to successfully emerge from this pandemic,” he said.

The worst hit people were those who have passed, as well as their families and other patients and every death is and was a devastating loss to their relatives, as well as the health department.

“Our work is to heal the sick, ease hardships and save lives, and when somebody dies, we feel the blow,” he went on.

Health minister Chris Fearne

Photo: Facebook/Chris Fearne

The minister described the preparations made by the health ministry in the event of a worst-case scenario. These included the acquisition of 100 ventilators, the setting up of four ITUs, the preparation of 680 new beds and new wards on the University grounds and the procurement of five ultrasound machines.

Malta had been better prepared than most other countries to handle the pandemic, said Fearne, and the budget allocated funds for preparations to be made well ahead of any other future pandemic.

Malta currently has seven testing hubs and over 350,000 tests have been done so far. Two more swabbing centres will be opened next week, with one being located in the Northern part of the island and the other at the airport.

In this way, the process of testing arrivals from ‘amber countries’ would be increased five-fold. Arrivals from ‘red’ high-risk countries, on the other hand, are banned or must quarantine for two weeks.