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Reaching milestones together: 1 million swab tests

The Maltese Islands have reached a huge milestone in their battle against the on-going, relentless pandemic, with the millionth swab test having been made yesterday.

Malta initially started swabbing in February 2020, at Mater Dei Hospital, when the virus began causing a stir in Europe. The first local case was detected on 7 March of the same year, followed by the opening of the first community-testing centres in the middle of March. Since March 2020, multiple testing centres have opened up all over Malta and Gozo, offering polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Some clinics were even offering rapid, yet somewhat less reliable, COVID-19 tests.

By April, Malta’s testing rate was among the top three in the word.

Behind every testing location are contact tracing teams, working tirelessly to follow-up any and all of those who test positive, advising them on their course of action and ordering quarantine for anyone who came into contact with them, trying their utmost to keep positive cases contained.

Chris Fearne, the Health Minister, welcomed the milestone by thanking all those involved at the centres, the testing centres and the laboratories.