The Legal Notice published by the Superintendent for Public Health in relation to the closure of VRT stations, has been amended, Transport Malta said.
"The new amendments allow VRT stations to perform tests in some cases, those which do not befall under the automatic annual licence extension. VRT stations can thus perform tests on the following vehicles:Imported used motor vehicles that require a VRT test to be registered in Malta for the first time; motor vehicles that were garaged before the 20th March 2020 and whose owners require new registration plates and the renewal of the vehicle's licence; Motor vehicles whose annual circulation licence expired before the 20th March 2020, that require a VRT test, but whose licence was not renewed; Motor vehicles that require a VRT certificate before being transferred to third parties."
In all the above cases, the affected owners must book an appointment with one of the approved VRT stations. One can find the updated list of these stations on Transport Malta's website by following this link:
Transport Malta is also informing the public that the decision to suspend driving lessons is being revoked with immediate effect. Driving lessons can resume but with added restrictive and enforced prevention measures which were announced a few days ago.
The 2021 Mediterranean Games have been postponed a year until 2022 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Algeria’s sports minister Sid Ali Khaldi said Tuesday. The Games were scheduled for Algeria’s second city, Oran, from June 25-July 5 next year and the postponement comes after organisers postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until 2021. The Maltese Olympic Committee was due to send a contingent of athletes to take part in these Games. “The government of Algeria and International Committee of the Mediterranean (CIJM) Games have taken a joint decision to put off the Games by one year,” the minister was quoted as saying by Algeria’s official news agency APS. The multi-sport event held every four years brings together athletes from 26 nations from the Mediterranean region. The decision follows last week’s announcement that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held in 2021 in a move that triggered a rescheduling of other major sports events. “The postponement of the Oran Mediterranean Games is essentially out of common concern to rearrange the timing with regard to the Olympic calendar...” as well as other concerns, the minister added. Algeria has seen 584 COVID-19 cases...
Spain's coronavirus deaths jumped by a record number Tuesday as the country's medical system strained to care for its tens of thousands of infected patients, and Italy opened a 200-bed field hospital at a fairgrounds in Milan to ease the pressure on overcrowded intensive care units.
As worldwide infections soared past the 800,000 mark, New York's governor begged for health care reinforcements, saying up to 1 million more workers were needed. The World Health Organization warned the pandemic is “far from over” in Asia even if the epicenter has shifted.
Russian lawmakers approved harsher punishments for violating quarantine regulations and spreading "fake news" amid the outbreak.
Spain and Italy struggled to avoid the collapse of their health systems, with Spain saying hospitals in at least half of its regions are at or very near their ICU bed limits.
Overnight, Spain recorded 849 new deaths, the highest daily toll since the pandemic hit the southern European country. It has now claimed the lives of 8,189, forcing Madrid to open a second temporary morgue after an ice rink pressed into service last week become overwhelmed.
Dozens of hotels across Spain have been turned into recovery rooms for patients in less-serious condition, and authorities are building field hospitals in sports centers, libraries and exhibition halls.
Authorities are moving breathing machines to regions with the highest number of ICU patients, and moving the patients themselves “has not been ruled out," said Dr. María José Sierra of Spain's health emergencies center.
In northern Italy, the intensive care field hospital, built in 10 days, was unveiled at the Milan fairgrounds to help ease pressure on the health care system.
“We made a promise and we kept it,” said the head of the project, former civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso, who ended up catching the virus while on the job and had to work from his hospital bed.
Italy and Spain account for more than half of the 38,714 COVID-19 deaths reported worldwide and the U.S. has the most confirmed cases at 164,610, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, cautioned, however, that the risk in Asia and the Pacific "will not go away as long as the pandemic continues.
“This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard," Kasai said. "We need every country to keep responding according to their local situation.”
A 12-year-old girl became the youngest person to die in Belgium, which has counted 705 deaths so far, including 98 in the last day. It was not disclosed whether she suffered from any underlying condition. The country of about 11.5 million people has reported more than 12,705 infections.
National crisis-center coronavirus spokesman Emmanuel Andre said Belgian authorities expect the disease to reach its peak in coming days, and that “we will arrive at a point where we’re close to saturation point at our hospitals.”
Russia registered 500 new confirmed cases in the biggest spike since the start of the outbreak, bringing its total to 2,337. Moscow has been on lockdown since Monday and many regions and cities have ordered similar restrictions.
According to measures passed by lawmakers, evading quarantine will be punishable by heavy fines or, if it leads to two or more people dying, by up to seven years in prison. Heavy fines are also outlined for those who spread misinformation about the outbreak, or up to five years in prison if it results in a death.
In New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and health officials warned that the crisis unfolding there is just a preview of what other U.S. cities and towns will soon face. New York state's death toll climbed by more than 250 people in a day to over 1,200.
“We've lost over 1,000 New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "To me, we're beyond staggering already.”
Even before the governor's appeal, close to 80,000 former nurses, doctors and other professionals were volunteering in New York, and a Navy hospital ship arrived with 1,000 beds to relieve pressure on the city's overwhelmed hospitals.
California officials put out a similar call for volunteers as coronavirus hospitalizations doubled over the last four days and the number of patients in intensive care tripled.
Experts maintain the pandemic will be defeated only by social distancing measures that have locked down billions of people and upended the world's economy.
In the southern state of Florida, officials were meeting later Tuesday to decide whether to let the infection-plagued cruise ship Zaandam dock after more than two weeks at sea. In a South American dream trip that turned into a nightmare, dozens on the ship have reported flu-like symptoms and four people have died. The company said eight people have tested positive but 2,300 other passengers and crew are in good health.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said the state's health care resources are stretched too thin to allow the ship to dock.
More than 235 million people — about two of every three Americans — live in the 33 states where governors have ordered or recommended that residents stay home.
Worldwide, 801,400 people have been infected and 170,325 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia and even death.
China on Tuesday reported just one new death from the coronavirus and 48 new cases, claiming that all new infections came from overseas. In Wuhan, people were ready to jump, cry and “revenge shop” as the Chinese city once at the center of the outbreak reopened.
About 75% of the shops reopened at the Chuhe Hanjie pedestrian mall. Shopkeepers limited the number of people allowed in, dispensing hand sanitizer and checking customers for signs of fever.
In Serbia, Hungary and other nations, concerns were rising that populist leaders were using the situation to try to seize more power and silence critics.
A human rights expert said while she understands the need to act swiftly to protect lives, the new states of emergency must include time limits and parliamentary oversight.
“A state of emergency — wherever it is declared and for whatever reason — must be proportionate to its aim, and only remain in place for as long as absolutely necessary," said Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The economic devastation continued, with British Airways suspending all its flights at Gatwick Airport amid a collapse in demand as nations close borders and airlines slash flights.
In Japan, the countdown clocks were reset and ticking again for the Tokyo Olympics. The clocks now read 479 days to go, with the games scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021.
Heritage Malta’s temporary exhibition last year 'Behind Closed Doors: Fort St Angelo and the Royal Navy 1906-1979'" is this year being held in virtual format in full on the agency's website. This will enable 'visitors' to tour the entire exhibition, enabling browsers to explore any particular section within it. All Heritage Malta sites are currently closed due to COVID-19. “41 years ago, our nation gained its freedom, but we also regained access to a fort that had always been the coloniser’s domain,” said Heritage Malta CEO Noel Zammit. “Digitising this exhibition means we still get to experience this unique site, despite the present circumstances.” Behind Closed Doors provides a detailed insight into the roles shouldered by Fort St Angelo during the British occupation. The true heart of the exhibition lies in the personal recollections of those former Maltese and British servicemen who worked at the fort during this period. Heritage Malta is presenting the filmed interviews of these ex-colleagues, photos and other memorabilia, from which a strong sense of belonging to this important site – and phase in Maltese history – emerged. “This virtual exhibition is a testament to...
Strict containment measures might have already saved up to 59,000 lives across 11 European countries battling the spread of the new coronavirus, experts in Britain say. Basing their modelling on the numbers of recorded deaths from COVID-19, researchers from Imperial College London said most countries it looked at had likely dramatically reduced the rate at which the virus spreads. Using the experiences of countries with the most advanced epidemics like Italy and Spain, the study compared actual fatality rates with an estimate of what would have happened with no measures such as school closures, event cancellations and lockdowns. "With current interventions remaining in place to at least the end of March, we estimate that interventions across all 11 countries will have averted 59,000 deaths up to 31 March," said the report, which was released Monday. "Many more deaths will be averted through ensuring that interventions remain in place until transmission drops to low levels." Billions of people around the world have been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 38,000 people since it emerged in China late last year. The...
Tyson Fury says he will never tire of beating Deontay Wilder in anticipation of his third fight against the American heavyweight, even though his potential all-British showdown with Anthony Joshua is on hold for now. Following a controversial draw in December 2018, Fury overpowered Wilder in Las Vegas in February, beating him in seven rounds. Wilder has activated the rematch clause in his contract, delaying the possibility of a hugely anticipated unification bout between WBC champion Fury and Anthony Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. It is now hoped Fury and Wilder will meet for a third bout later this year after the original date of July 18 was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic. “I’ll be obliged to give him a bit more,” Fury told the Good Morning Britain television programme on Tuesday. “You never tire of beating Deontay Wilder. It’s one of those things you take great pride in doing. “I really did what I said I was going to do and not many people, in boxing especially, say something and then do exactly what they were going to do.” Fury, unbeaten as a professional, added: “So I was quite proud of the performance and I’m really looking forward to getting...
The Church Schools Admissions Office has announced a new schedule for the Church Schools admission ballots.
All ballots will be streamed live on www.church.mt from a studio with the least possible people, which means no parents will be allowed to attend, due to the restrictions which are currently in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
A notary will be present throughout the ballot process. The first ballots to be held are the participation ballots, for girls and boys, for admission into Form 1. These will take place on Wednesday, 1st April 2020. The ballot for girls will start at 9:30am and will be followed by the ballot for boys which will start at 10:30am, or immediately after the ballot for girls if the latter has not yet ended by then.
The participation ballot for girls for admission into Year 1 will be held on Thursday, 2 April, and will start at 9:30am.
The video of the ballots will remain available online for future reference. The results will also be published the day after the ballot has taken place, on the Church Schools webpage www.church.mt. For more information, the Church Schools Admissions Office can be reached on [email protected] or 7999 0224.
Transport Malta has revoked a decision to suspend all driving lessons, just four days after it introduced the temporary ban. The transport regulator had said all driving lessons were suspended for public health reasons on Friday, saying the decision was taken in agreement with health authorities. On Tuesday, however, it said it was revoking the decision with immediate effect. Lessons could continue provided instructors abided by measures to prevent coronavirus spread, which had been announced the previous week. Those measures include only allowing one passenger inside vehicles at any time, ensuring windows are open during lessons and wiping down seats and dashboards with disinfectant after every lesson. Transport Malta did not provide a reason for its sudden change of heart. Last week, the regulator had also said that authorised car dealers would be closed with immediate effect, only to reverse that decision 90 minutes after announcing it, without explanation. VRT testing exceptions The transport regulator also said on Tuesday that VRT stations would be allowed to perform tests for cases which do not fall under the automatic annual licence extension.These are: (1) imported...
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Emre Can received a two-match ban from UEFA on Tuesday following his sending-off in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain. Can was shown a red card in the closing minutes of a 2-0 defeat at the Parc des Princes on March 11 after an altercation with Neymar in which he pushed the Brazilian to the ground. PSG won the tie 3-2 on aggregate after overturning a 2-1 first-leg loss. However, UEFA has since postponed both the Champions League and Europa League because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ten NGOs have protested against the government's handling of the public domain saying: "After doing nothing about the Public Domain public consultation for four years, the Maltese has government shamefully chose to settle it while a pandemic rages. Providing protection to a few token sites L-Għadira s-Safra, limits of Naxxar, and parts of l-Għeriexem and il-Marġ, Rabat, while ignoring 23 major nature sites, leaving them vulnerable to future development, amounts to no more than a crude greenwashing exercise on the part of the Planning Authority."
"In 2016, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar and Friends of the Earth (Malta) submitted 23 sites* to be considered as Public Domain, including Manoel Island, Comino, Pembroke, Simblija, Fomm ir-Riħ and the Ras ir-Raħeb headland, Fomm ir-Riħ, the area from St Thomas Bay in Marsascala to Xrobb l-Għagin in Marsaxlokk, and many other sites of established Ecological and Scientific Importance and High Landscape Value as well as the one suggested by Minister Herrera - Wied Ghomor."
"The NGOs proposed these sites because spending time in a nature setting is essential for the health of residents of Malta's over-developed urban areas therefore our proposals included several areas where public paths allow such enjoyment of nature. Considering the limited size of the Maltese islands and the ever-decreasing open countryside, the remit of the Planning Authority should have led it to guarantee free and en-encumbered access to the public for these sites and to ensure that they will receive additional protection from land grab and commercialization, especially since most of these sites are Government-owned and there is absolutely no bar to them being designated as public domain."
Up to yesterday's public consultation deadline, "several eNGOs, including Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Friends of the Earth (Malta), Moviment Graffitti, theRamblers Association, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Archaeological Society of Malta, Green House and Birdlife Malta along with hundreds of members of the public sent emails to the Planning Authority, protesting that the public should have been given the chance to be consulted on whether public access to these sites should be guaranteed. Instead, the 5,500 members of the public who had supported FAA/FoE's submissions were arrogantly ignored, as were the 5,000 who had similarly submitted parliamentary petitions re Manoel Island."
Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar said that "Government does not have the right to dispose of public land at will but has the responsibility of holding public land in trust for the people and future generations."
"We and our fellow eNGOs therefore repeat our profound disappointment at yet another episode where the Planning Authority, and the politicians who direct it, sacrificed the islands' environment and public health, showing themselves to be interested only in superficial and cynical greenwashing to allow development to over-run even more of our islands."
The ten NGOs protesting are Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Friends of the Earth (Malta), Moviment Graffitti, Ramblers Association, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Archaeological Society of Malta, Green House and Birdlife Malta
Midwives continue to support women and families throughout their childbearing journey, the Malta Midwives Association said today.
"Babies will continue to be born every day, including during these challenging times. Healthcare systems in Malta and Gozo are actively working to address the COVID-19 outbreak, and within this scenario midwives continue to be with women and families throughout their childbearing journey. The midwifery profession's aim is to give the best possible perinatal care, whilst minimising the spread of COVID-19."
"Evidence and guidance on the novel corona virus is continually being updated and, as all other healthcare professionals, midwives are keeping themselves up to date as the situation evolves. The Malta Midwives Association supports its midwives, who as health professionals, are fully apt to follow the necessary infection control measures," the association said.
"The childbearing experience leaves a lifelong physical, psychological and emotional impact on families. Therefore, the Malta Midwives Association is in agreement with the World Health Organisation guidance that all women, regardless of COVID-19 infection, have the right to a safe and positive childbirth experience, and that breastfeeding helps a baby to thrive."
"The Malta Midwives Association urges all families to continue abiding by the advice of the public health department including good hand washing techniques, social distancing, cleaning high-touch areas, coughing/sneezing etiquette, avoiding touching the face and staying at home. Expectant parents and new parents should be cautious at this time, and should not delay seeking midwifery or medical assistance when needed."
"The Malta Midwives Association will continue to support families during the pandemic by providing many of its services online. This will include 'speak with a midwife' consultations, online childbirth education courses and prenatal & postnatal pilates. More information can be found on our website https://maltamidwivesassociation.com."
Farmers are being allowed to sell their produce directly to consumers. The government said it was giving them a temporary extension of the licence they hold to sell fruit and vegetables at the farmers’ market. The new freedom to sell has already spawned an online map connecting farmers to consumers. Farmers have been struggling to sell their produce since the new rules restricting general hawkers were introduced to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Their sales have also been impacted by a spike in supermarket deliveries and the closure of restaurants and hotels. Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo said the new licence was temporary and only valid while the country deals with the coronavirus outbreak. “This way we are making sure fresh produce from Maltese farmers continues to make its way to the people of Malta and Gozo,” Refalo said on Facebook. “Let us not only help the Maltese farmers during these particular times but also appreciate the quality of the Maltese product and the farmers’ hard work.” The head of the farmers’ lobby group, Malcolm Borg, described the new measure as “a very good move”. “This enables farmers to continue selling their produce to consumers and overcoming...
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on members of his government and MPs from his party to give up half of their salaries to combat the coronavirus. The country's president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who took office on March 13, immediately agreed "in view of the difficult financial circumstances in which the country finds itself due to the coronavirus pandemic." "We are all equal in the face of the health threat," Mitsotakis said in a statement on Monday. "But in the battle against it, everyone has to offer according to their own strengths." "Our country's political world must stand at the forefront of solidarity," he said, calling on members of his government and deputies from his conservative New Democracy party to pay half of their salaries over two months into a special fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitsotakis added he was "sure that the other parties will follow this course of action." The main left-wing opposition Syriza party has said that such a payment should be "compulsory and not optional as employees who lose half of their salaries... have not had a choice." Greece has officially recorded 43 deaths and 1,212 COVID-19 infections among a...
Opposition Leader Adrian Delia has spoken about the importance of unity in the fight against the virus outbreak on the island.
Today a new chapter in our nation's history is being written, Opposition Adrian Delia said. "We have a major challenge before us, a war, a battle against something invisible and so more perilous."
"Our challenge is to again find the strength that we , as a people, have, and the resilience to fight the biggest plight."
He spoke of the importance of understanding that we only leave our normal life liberties for a while and understand that in this fight there is the need for the people to be together to win.
"Yes it is a fight for freedom, a fight for liberty, but we must understand that if we suffer and sacrifice a bit now, we will be able to win this fight together."
He said that he believes in the Maltese people. "Let us understand that there are no colours, no distinctions. We need to be able to, for those who have a lot, to help those who have a little or have nothing. We must be able to put the national interest before anything else."
He said that this is a moment to teach children what is important, and continue educating them, "as even during a war education must keep being given."
Delia spoke of the importance of sustaining the businesses suffering as a result of the outbreak.
"We must find the courage inside our hearts, that which truly makes us Maltese. Let us fight this fight together."
A new schedule has been announced for church schools admission ballots. No parents will be allowed to attend but the selection process will be streamed live on www.church.mt from a studio. A notary will be present throughout the process. The first ballots to be held are the participation ballots, for girls and boys, for admission into Form 1. These will take place on Wednesday. The ballot for girls will start at 9.30am and will be followed by that for boys starting at 10.30am, or immediately after the ballot for girls. The participation ballot for girls for admission into Year 1 will be held on Thursday and will start at 9.30am. [attach id=857735 size="large" align="left" type="image"][/attach] The schedule for each ballot can be seen in the table above. The video of the ballots will remain available online for future reference. The results will also be published the day after the ballot has taken place, on the church schools' webpage www.church.mt. For more information, the Church Schools Admissions Office can be reached on [email protected] or 7999 0224.
Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, the free market has been blamed by the left-wing as being responsible for the downturn, with governments and major central banks supposedly perpetuating capitalism. Even someone like the former president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has been accused as a capitalist and an alleged neoliberal, all the while he fervently said he would do anything which was required to save the euro." This of course happened while he was kicking off another indefinite quantitative easing programme, one of the largest public interventions in the European economy in recent history, though admittedly nothing in comparison to what the US Federal Reserve is doing as we speak. Of course, the buck has now been passed to Christine Lagarde, who is now expected to save the euro – but that's a story for another time. How can a third-party observer see this as a sign of free-market capitalism? Indeed, if those that see neoliberalism as the perpetrator of any crisis looked closer, they would find that the 2008 financial meltdown has been for the most part a consequence of the Federal Reserve basing its actions on Keynesian economics, and other central banks...
Hard-drinking Australians were told Tuesday to limit themselves to buying just 12 bottles of wine and two cases of beer a day as a coronavirus lockdown saw panic buying of alcohol. Major retailers agreed to enforce new rules limiting individual purchases as Australians went on a booze-buying spree amid a shutdown of non-essential services - including pubs and bars. "It was clear that uncertainty on the impact of supply... caused some people to purchase differently," Retail Drinks chief executive Julie Ryan said in a statement launching the restrictions. "We want to now send a clear message bottle shops remain an essential service and there are no issues of supply." Australian social media has been awash with video and pictures of shoppers loading supermarket trolleys with alcohol in the face of lockdowns that could last weeks. According to the World Health Organisation data from 2016, Australians aged over 15 consumed an average 12.6 litres of alcohol a year - second only to the Czech Republic. More recent data from various sources show they are now behind several European countries, with Moldova (15.2 litres), Lithuania, France and Russia among the biggest consumers. The...
The Malta Police Force and other authorities have started inspections in connection with enforcement of new regulations, limiting the size of groups in public spaces.
Last week, the government said crowds of more than five people would be dispersed by the police. However yesterday the Home Affairs Minister said he was angered by what he saw over the weekend, especially on Sunday, when crowds gathered at certain public places, such as promenades and beaches. A new Legal Notice was then published which limits the maximum number of people who can gather to three. Those who do not obey will be fined €100 each.
"Inspections are set to continue throughout the day across Malta & Gozo," the Malta Police Force said on Facebook.
The Armed Forces of Malta are also checking beaches via helicopter.
Outside children play areas, signs have been erected recommending that the equipment not be used due to the virus situation.
People who died almost 40 years ago have received a letter ordering them to stay indoors at they were at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Authorities have been sending letters to people who suffer from a number of chronic conditions, telling them to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary as they are considered a high-risk group for the coronavirus. But letters have also been sent to some people who are long deceased. Several people told Times of Malta about how hurtful it was that their wound had been reopened with a “silly mistake”. One woman who preferred to remain anonymous, explained that her 88-year-old mother had opened a letter addressed to her father, who died in March 1993. “I saw tears in her eyes. It broke my heart to see her suffer. She told me he will not get the virus and will surely not leave from where he is. I felt sorry for her. It’s been 27 years but it still hurts. It’s insensitivity at its best,” she said. She added that this was not the first time that letters have been sent for her father to attend hospital appointments, for example. “We have been assured it won’t happen again but it keeps happening. How can we be sure that this will not happen...
The area known as Qalet Marku in Bahar ic-Caghaq has been closed off for cars so that Get Thrashed Malta and Malta Clean Up can undertake a year-long project to allow the garigue to heal "after years of neglect and abuse," Cami Appelgren, founder of Malta Clean Up posted on Facebook.
Appelgren said that she, together with members of Get Thrashed Malta, met up with Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia some time ago to explain why this peninsula should be closed off. "He spent plenty of time listening to our concerns and ambitions in regards to this area. He promised us that he would close it off and that we would be taking the lead in making this peninsula into what it should be - a green area where people can walk and enjoy the Maltese countryside."
"He walked the talk. Yesterday it was closed off by the ministry," she said.
"We will now start creating the big project of cleaning this place up, by hand... centimeter after centimeter."
"This will be the ONLY cleanup project of Malta Clean Up during 2020. We will keep you posted once plan is in place and we are ready to launch (once COVID-19 has passed)."
She thanked Minister Farrugia for his action and for listening to the NGOs. "Only together can we solve the massive issues in regards to the degrading environment."