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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • Over 19.5 million infected globally; more than 725,000 dead, over 11.7 million recovered
  • 284,481 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,093 dead, 260,248 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Aug 09, 2020
11:00 PM

No parties, no trips: US colleges set Covid-19 rules for fall

10:40 PM

READ: Is it safe to reopen schools during the pandemic?

10:10 PM

Alabama high school principal uses MC Hammer to teach Covid-19 safety

9:25 PM

Britain's Covid-19 daily infections rise to highest level since June

8:50 PM

KP reports 57 Covid-19 cases, one death

7:48 PM

Brazil becomes second country to cross grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from Covid-19

7:05 PM

Vietnam reports 31 new Covid-19 cases, one death

6:25 PM

WATCH: New Zealand marks 100 days of 'eliminating' the virus

5:51 PM

Malawi cracks down on 'alarming' virus surge

5:15 PM

3,240 Sindh police personnel infected with Covid-19

4:45 PM

Sindh reports 303 Covid-19 cases, 10 deaths

4:01 PM

VIDEO: New human clinical trial for coronavirus vaccine is underway at University of Queensland

3:40 PM

Saudi Aramco half-year profits plunge 50pc from virus impact

3:15 PM

Masks in class? Many questions as Germans go back to school

2:55 PM

The dos and don'ts of wearing a non-medical fabric mask safely

2:36 PM

Balochistan govt lifts restrictions on timings of all markets, businesses

2:15 PM

US coronavirus cases top 5 million

1:55 PM

Pregnant women unlikely to transmit Covid-19 to babies: Turkish doctor

1:35 PM

Ireland reports highest number of new Covid-19 cases since early May

1:10 PM

India doctors ask for support as 196 die so far

12:30 PM

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries cross 260,000

12:25 PM

Punjab reports 137 cases, down from 183 a day earlier

12:21 PM

Islamabad, federal territories collectively record 52 cases, zero deaths

11:32 AM

New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

10:40 AM

Mexico's coronavirus death tally exceeds 52,000, cases above 475,900

9:31 AM

Australia's Victoria reports deadliest day of Covid-19 pandemic

8:30 AM

US schools face big virus test as students return to classroom

Aug 08, 2020
10:28 PM

Paris orders mandatory wearing of masks outdoors in busy areas as virus flares back

9:57 PM

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

7:40 PM

WHO lists precautions for air travel

7:10 PM

Indonesia reports 2,277 new coronavirus infections

6:25 PM

Hong Kong reports 69 new coronavirus cases

5:50 PM

India's virus cases top 60,000 for 2nd day

5:27 PM

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

4:51 PM

Sindh reports 300 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

4:21 PM

At least 17 participants of Afghan grand assembly positive for coronavirus

4:01 PM

Czechs record biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases since April 3

4:00 PM

Children walk back to school in Gaza after five-month shutdown

3:30 PM

CDC warns against drinking hand sanitiser

3:05 PM

NCOC directs provinces to prepare tourism guidelines to prevent resurgence in cases

2:47 PM

Russia reports more than 5,200 new coronavirus cases

2:17 PM

Britain to require masks at most indoor places

12:57 PM

Australia's Victoria sees 'stabilisation' in new coronavirus cases

12:30 PM

Punjab records 183 cases, 2 fatalities

12:25 PM

32 new cases reported in Islamabad, 14 in GB, 5 in AJK

12:20 PM

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries rise to 259,604

10:16 AM

Coronavirus deaths in Latin America hit global high

9:38 AM

SOPs issued for Muharram, Independence Day

Aug 07, 2020
11:00 PM

A sweetheart deal: Germany to exempt unmarried couples from Covid-19 border controls

10:24 PM

Malta reimposes curbs as Covid-19 infections surge

Aug 09, 2020 10:40pm

READ: Is it safe to reopen schools during the pandemic?

Is it safe for schools to reopen during the pandemic? It depends on how widespread Covid-19 infections are in the community and the safety measures the school takes. In areas where the virus is poorly controlled, public health experts say in-person education would be too risky.

In areas where the virus appears to be under control, experts say schools still need to make adjustments to minimise risk when reopening. A sustained decline in cases and a positive case rate of less than 2 per cent are among the signs the virus is under control, some experts say.

But given the many lingering unknowns about the virus, school districts are approaching the school year in a variety of ways.

Read full AP story here.

Aug 09, 2020 09:25pm

Britain's Covid-19 daily infections rise to highest level since June

Britain reported 1,062 new positive tests for coronavirus on Sunday, the highest daily rise in new Covid-19 infections since late June, at a time of new local lockdowns in some areas and worries over a second wave of infections, Reuters reports.

Official data showed 1,062 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, going over the 1,000 new daily cases mark for the first time since June, and 304 higher than the 758 new cases reported on Saturday.

Aug 09, 2020 07:05pm

Vietnam reports 31 new Covid-19 cases, one death

Vietnam's health ministry on Sunday reported 31 new Covid-19 cases and an additional death, taking the country's total tally to 841, with 11 fatalities, according to Reuters.

All of the new cases are linked to the central city of Danang, where the new outbreak began late last month, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

There have been 355 cases since the virus resurfaced in Danang, with 11 deaths. Coronavirus infections have since been detected in at least 15 locations in Vietnam.

Aug 09, 2020 05:51pm

Malawi cracks down on 'alarming' virus surge

Malawi on Sunday shut bars and churches in new restrictions to limit the “alarming” spread of coronavirus, three months after a court blocked the government from imposing a full lockdown, according to AFP.

Since the first positive case was detected on April 2, confirmed cases have nearly doubled over the past four weeks to hit over 4,624, including 143 deaths as of Saturday.

Malawi had not been placed under a lockdown after a court in April blocked the government from enforcing a full lockdown because it had failed to announce any measures to cushion the vulnerable.

Attorney general Chikosa Silungwe on Sunday unveiled newly-gazetted regulations to curb the spread of the virus.

Aug 09, 2020 05:15pm

3,240 Sindh police personnel infected with Covid-19

A spokesperson for the Sindh police has said that 3,240 personnel have been infected with the coronavirus.

In a statement, he said that 125 cases have been reported during the last nine days. "Eighteen have died due to the virus so far," he said, adding that 990 were currently under treatment.

Aug 09, 2020 04:45pm

Sindh reports 303 Covid-19 cases, 10 deaths

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that 303 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths were reported in the province during the past 24 hours.

In a statement, he said 8,288 tests were carried out. With the new cases, the provincial total has risen to 123,849 while the death toll is 2,272.

He added that 5,836 patients were currently under treatment.

Aug 09, 2020 03:40pm

Saudi Aramco half-year profits plunge 50pc from virus impact

Saudi Aramco’s net income plunged by 50 per cent in the first half of the year, offering a revealing glimpse into the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on one of the world’s biggest oil producers.

According to AP, profits for the first six months of the year plunged to $23.2 billion, half of last year’s $46.9bn for the same time period.

The results were announced as Aramco’s second quarter earnings dipped to $6.6bn compared to $24.7bn during the same time last year, reflecting a staggering 73pc drop.

The majority state-owned company’s financial health is crucial to Saudi Arabia’s stability.

Aug 09, 2020 03:15pm

Masks in class? Many questions as Germans go back to school

As Germany’s 16 states start sending millions of children back to school in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic, the country’s famous sense of “Ordnung” has given way to uncertainty, with a hodgepodge of regional regulations that officials acknowledge may or may not work.

“There can’t, and never will be 100 per cent certainty,” said Torsten Kuehne, the official in charge of schools in Pankow, Berlin’s most populous district where 45,000 students go back to school Monday. “We are trying to minimise the risk as much as possible.”

Germany has won plaudits for managing to slow the spread of the coronavirus quickly, efficiently and early, but the opening of schools is proving a new challenge as the country struggles to balance the concerns of anxious parents and children, sceptical scientists, worried teachers and overtaxed administrators.

Read the full AP story here.

Aug 09, 2020 02:36pm

Balochistan govt lifts restrictions on timings of all markets, businesses

The Balochistan government has released a notification, lifting the restrictions on timings of all "markets, shops, outlets and other major/minor business components".

They were previously allowed to open from 9am to 7pm.

Aug 09, 2020 02:15pm

US coronavirus cases top 5 million

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has topped five million, according to a Reuters tally, as the country’s top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end.

With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in Covid-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total.

The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.

Aug 09, 2020 01:55pm

Pregnant women unlikely to transmit Covid-19 to babies: Turkish doctor

Pregnant women and new mothers are unlikely to transmit coronavirus to their babies, a Turkish doctor has said, according to a report by Anadolu Agency.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Emine Zeynep Yilmaz, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Medipol University Hospital, said recent data suggests pregnancy and childbirth do not increase the risk of contracting the virus and most infected mothers recover before delivery.

"Over 95 per cent of newborns [of mothers who had the virus] have been in good health at birth. Also, chances of miscarriage do not increase based on recent data," she added.

Aug 09, 2020 01:35pm

Ireland reports highest number of new Covid-19 cases since early May

Ireland has reported 174 new cases of Covid-19, by far the highest number of infections since May and up from 98 on Friday and an average of 58 cases per day for the past week.

Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said 118 of the new cases were linked to the three counties — Kildare, Laois and Offaly — where some restrictions on movement were reintroduced on Friday following a surge in cases there.

“While today’s numbers of confirmed cases are high, they are not unexpected,” Glynn was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Our priority now ... is to avoid these cases and clusters leading to widespread community transmission of the disease.”

Aug 09, 2020 01:10pm

India doctors ask for support as 196 die so far

The Indian Medical Association says 196 doctors have died of Covid-19 so far and, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested adequate care for physicians and their families.

The Health Ministry recorded nearly 64,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 2,153,010. At least 628,747 patients are still undergoing treatment.

According to AP, India also recorded 861 fatalities, driving the death toll to 43,379.

Health workers leave after screening people for Covid-19 symptoms at a residential building in Dharavi, one of Asia's biggest slums, in Mumbai, India on Aug 7. — AP
Health workers leave after screening people for Covid-19 symptoms at a residential building in Dharavi, one of Asia's biggest slums, in Mumbai, India on Aug 7. — AP

India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June and has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil.

Aug 09, 2020 12:30pm

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries cross 260,000

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries have risen to 260,248 after 756 more people recovered in the last 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

The portal shows that 791 patients are in critical condition.

Aug 09, 2020 12:25pm

Punjab reports 137 cases, down from 183 a day earlier

Punjab has reported 137 new Covid-19 cases, down from 183 infections a day earlier, according to the government's database on coronavirus. This has taken the provincial tally of cases to 94,360.

The province has confirmed three more deaths from the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 2,169.

Aug 09, 2020 12:21pm

Islamabad, federal territories collectively record 52 cases, zero deaths

Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively recorded 49 new coronavirus cases and zero additional fatalities.

The breakdown of cases is as follows:

  • Islamabad: 27 cases
  • GB: 20 cases
  • AJK: 5 cases
Aug 09, 2020 11:32am

New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus today, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.

New Zealand’s successful fight against Covid-19 has made the Pacific island nation of five million one of the safest places in the world right now.

New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules.

“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said, according to Reuters.

Aug 09, 2020 10:40am

Mexico's coronavirus death tally exceeds 52,000, cases above 475,900

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 6,495 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 695 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 475,902 cases and 52,006 deaths.

Officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Mexico has the third highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the United States and Brazil.

Aug 09, 2020 09:31am

Australia's Victoria reports deadliest day of Covid-19 pandemic

Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, has reported its deadliest day of the Covid-19 outbreak, with 17 people dying, although new infections showed signs of easing.

Victoria, at the centre of a second wave of infections in Australia, reported 394 cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, compared with a daily average of 400-500 over the past week. The new deaths bring the state’s total to 210.

According to Reuters, the southeastern state, with infections concentrated in the capital Melbourne, accounts for more than two-thirds of the national tally of nearly 21,000.

Aug 09, 2020 08:30am

US schools face big virus test as students return to classroom

As educators in the United States prepare to welcome students back to class for the first time in months, schools’ ability to quickly identify and contain coronavirus outbreaks before they get out of hand will be put to the test in thousands of districts around the country.

Newly reopened schools in Mississippi, Indiana and Georgia have already reported infections just days into the academic year, triggering virus protocols that include swiftly isolating infected students, tracing their contacts and quarantining people they exposed.

“It doesn’t matter if you open schools in July, like we did, or if you open in August, September or October. All schools are going to have to deal with the issue of positive Covid-19 test results,” said Lee Childress, superintendent of Corinth School District in Mississippi, where more than 100 students are quarantined at home after being exposed to a handful of infected classmates.

Read the full AP story here.

8th Aug, 10:28 PM

Paris orders mandatory wearing of masks outdoors in busy areas as virus flares back

Paris authorities say it will be mandatory to wear a face mask outdoors in busy areas of the French capital from Monday as the number of coronavirus infections there rise.

The order applies to people aged 11 and over, the Paris prefecture said in a statement.

The zones where masks must be worn will be detailed separately, and evaluated on a regular basis, the prefecture said.

8th Aug, 7:10 PM

Indonesia reports 2,277 new coronavirus infections

Indonesia has reported 2,277 new coronavirus infections and 65 more deaths, data from its health ministry website showed.

This brings the country’s total to 123,503 coronavirus infections and 5,658 deaths.

8th Aug, 6:25 PM

Hong Kong reports 69 new coronavirus cases

Hong Kong has reported 69 new coronavirus cases, of which 67 were locally transmitted, as authorities continued efforts to contain a resurgence of infections in the global financial hub over the past month.

More than 4,000 people have now been infected in Hong Kong since late January.

On Friday, 89 new cases were reported, as the government announced that it would offer free voluntary coronavirus testing to Hong Kong residents.

8th Aug, 5:50 PM

India's virus cases top 60,000 for 2nd day

India has recorded 61,537 new coronavirus cases over the past day, the country's health ministry said.

New cases have topped 60,000 nationwide for the second consecutive day, with more than 500,000 infections reported in just nine days.

India also recorded 933 more deaths over the past day. The death toll has hit 42,518, with the total cases crossing two million. Recoveries have exceeded 1.4 million, according to Anadolu Agency.

8th Aug, 5:27 PM

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

Brazil’s death toll from Covid-19 is expected to hit 100,000 today and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even though the pandemic has yet to peak.

Confronting its most lethal outbreak since the Spanish flu a century ago, Brazil reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus at the end of February. The virus took three months to kill 50,000 people, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

Crosses, balloons and Brazilian flags are seen at Copacabana beach, placed by members of the NGO Rio de Paz in tribute to the 100,000 victims of the coronavirus  in the country, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday. — Reuters
Crosses, balloons and Brazilian flags are seen at Copacabana beach, placed by members of the NGO Rio de Paz in tribute to the 100,000 victims of the coronavirus in the country, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday. — Reuters

Led by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of the epidemic and fought lockdowns by local officials, Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak have met the grim milestone with a shrug.

“We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war. But Brazil is under collective anesthesia,” said Dr. José Davi Urbaez, a senior member of the Infectious Diseases Society.

8th Aug, 4:51 PM

Sindh reports 300 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

Sindh has reported 300 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the provincial total to 123,546, according to a statement from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

It has also reported three additional fatalities, taking the death toll to 2,262. Another 450 people have recovered from the virus in the province, taking the total number of recovered people to 115,415, the statement added.

8th Aug, 4:21 PM

At least 17 participants of Afghan grand assembly positive for coronavirus

At least 17 participants of a major Afghan grand assembly tested positive for the new coronavirus, officials have said, a day after the high-profile gathering began in Kabul to deliberate over the fate of Taliban prisoners and the beginning of the peace process in the war-torn country.

“Samples from all 3,620 participants were taken by our health team, and among them result of 17 were positive” for the virus that causes the disease, said Saeed Jami, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s ministry of public health. Some participants were tested twice, Reuters quoted him as saying.

The 17 who tested positive have been sent to the hospital quarantine and treatment, he said.

8th Aug, 4:01 PM

Czechs record biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases since April 3

The Czech Republic has recorded its biggest daily rise in new coronavirus cases since April 3 due to local outbreaks in a number of regions, the health ministry reported.

The central European country of 10.7 million recorded 323 new cases on Friday, Health Ministry data showed, bringing the total number of cases detected to 18,060. Of those, 12,749 have recovered and 389 have died of Covid-19.

Health officials have said the recent uptick in cases is due to local clusters and they say hospitalisations, at 116, are well below peaks of over 400 as the government seeks to avoid a national lockdown again.

8th Aug, 4:00 PM

Children walk back to school in Gaza after five-month shutdown

Hundreds of thousands of children walk through the streets of the Gaza Strip to return to classes after five months of shutdown — though authorities said they were ready to close schools again if coronavirus cases spike.

Pupils mingled freely before heading into playgrounds for roll call and filing into classrooms. At one school in the northern Jabalia refugee camp, teachers wearing face masks welcomed children and offered to sanitise their hands.

Gaza, mostly cut off from the world by an Israeli-led blockade, has not recorded any Covid-19 cases in the towns and refugee camps where around two million Palestinians live.

8th Aug, 3:05 PM

NCOC directs provinces to prepare tourism guidelines to prevent resurgence in cases

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has directed the provinces to prepare guidelines to manage tourism so that a resurgence in coronavirus cases can be prevented.

The NCOC meeting, chaired by Development Minister Asad Umar also directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir administrations in particular to make "all out efforts to enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) on visiting tourists including the use of facemasks and density control".

The meeting also decided that testing and contact tracing of tourists would be increased for the next three weeks through "establishing of special sentinel sites at tourist spots and airports".

8th Aug, 2:47 PM

Russia reports more than 5,200 new coronavirus cases

Russian authorities have reported 5,212 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its national tally to 882,347, the fourth largest in the world.

The official death toll rose to 14,854 after officials said 129 people died across the country in the last 24 hours.

8th Aug, 2:17 PM

Britain to require masks at most indoor places

People in Britain must now wear masks in most indoor settings as the country tries to squash a rise in coronavirus infections that has followed the easing of lockdown measures, AP reported.

England and Scotland now require face-coverings in most indoor spaces, including places of worship, museums, cinemas, banks and libraries. They were already mandatory in shops and on public transit.

A swath of northern England has been put under tougher restrictions that bar households from mixing, after a surge in infections that authorities blame partly on people meeting up in homes and pubs.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.

8th Aug, 12:57 PM

Australia's Victoria sees 'stabilisation' in new coronavirus cases

Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, has recorded 466 cases of the new coronavirus and 12 Covid-19 deaths, though authorities expressed hope for stabilisation in new infections thanks to strict mobility restrictions.

Victoria is at the centre of a second wave of infections in Australia, accounting for more than two-thirds of the national tally of nearly 21,000.

8th Aug, 12:30 PM

Punjab records 183 cases, 2 fatalities

Punjab has recorded 183 new Covid-19 cases, according to the government's portal, taking the provincial tally to 94,223.

It has also recorded two more fatalities from the virus, taking the provincial death toll to 2,166.

8th Aug, 12:25 PM

32 new cases reported in Islamabad, 14 in GB, 5 in AJK

Islamabad has reported 32 new coronavirus cases, according to the government's Covid-19 portal, taking the capital's total to 15,214.

Gilgit Baltistan recorded 14 cases while Azad Jammu and Kashmir confirmed five, taking their tallies to 2,301 and 2, 129, respectively.

Islamabad and AJK also reported one additional death each.

8th Aug, 12:20 PM

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries rise to 259,604

Another 1,505 people have recovered from the coronavirus in Pakistan, according to the government's database.

The total number of recovered people has risen to 259,604 while 801 people are in critical condition.

8th Aug, 10:16 AM

Coronavirus deaths in Latin America hit global high

Latin America and the Caribbean have surpassed Europe to become the region hardest-hit with coronavirus deaths, AFP reported.

The world's worst-affected region has reported 213,120 fatalities, 460 more than Europe, according to an AFP tally based on official data.

8th Aug, 9:38 AM

SOPs issued for Muharram, Independence Day

The government has announced the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for August 14 and Muharram, an NCOC meeting has been told.

According to the SOPs for Muharram:

  • only registered processions would be allowed to be taken out

  • organisers of processions will be asked to avoid narrow streets

  • speakers would have to wear masks and maintain a distance of at least six feet from the first row of the majlis participants

For Independence Day events, use of sanitisers at entry points and wearing of masks would be mandatory for participants.

Read the full story here.

7th Aug, 11:00 PM

A sweetheart deal: Germany to exempt unmarried couples from Covid-19 border controls

Germany will give a welcome break to the coronavirus lovelorn from Monday — easing its border controls to allow unmarried couples to reunite after what has been months of separation for some, according to Reuters.

The exemption will apply to the partners of Germans from countries that Germany considers high-risk — currently most of the world outside the EU — and couples will have to provide some proof that they were in a relationship before the pandemic, the interior ministry said on Friday.

Most European Union borders have been closed to non-EU travellers since March, unless they are essential workers or married to an EU resident.

On social media, separated couples have been lobbying under the hashtags #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism for governments to allow them to reunite.

7th Aug, 10:24 PM

Malta reimposes curbs as Covid-19 infections surge

Malta banned mass gatherings and made it mandatory to wear masks in public on Friday as new coronavirus cases surged after having been reduced to zero for a week early in July, Reuters reports.

Health authorities reported 49 new infections on Friday, the second highest daily number since the first case was detected on March 7. Nine patients have died.

Prime Minister Robert Abela ordered restrictions on public gatherings and measures to limit direct access to people in nursing homes, with visitors required to remain behind Perspex screens.

“This is not a time to point the finger of blame,” Abela told reporters. “We took all steps during this pandemic with the best interest of the public in mind.”

The decision to reimpose controls represents a sharp turnaround for Malta, which depends on tourism for a third of its GDP.