Chris Fearne

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne on Thursday allayed fears surrounding the latest viral concern, Monkeypox, categorically stating:

“Monkeypox is not another COVID.”

He said there are no confirmed cases in Malta, but the country is prepared for it nonetheless. He also called out “one or two” persons in the media who needlessly alarmed people over the past two weeks.

Minister Fearne likened monkeypox to chickenpox, and said the Government was taking the matter seriously by preparing for it in labs and in the procurement of medicines using the European procurement process.

He said that even if monkeypox had to hit Malta, the situation would be similar to chickenpox, and that people aged over 50 were likely immune because those born before 1972 used to take the vaccine for the now eradicated Smallpox.

COVID under control

Minister Fearne also stressed that the COVID situation in Malta remains under control, despite almost all restrictions having been lifted and mass events and gatherings taking place in full swing.

Up until a few days ago, there were no people in the Intensive Care Unit being treated for COVID, now there is just one.

The number of active cases on the island is at 1,556 cases as of Thursday, while over 30,000 people aged 65+ have taken the second booster dose.

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