Health Minister Chris Fearne revealed that a new variant of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Malta.
The new form of the virus, which is a recombinant variant (meaning it is the result of two strains merging together) has caused an increase in community transmission of the disease.
Fearne said that the variant is more infectious so a slight increase in community transmission should be expected. The Deputy Prime Minister however said that, despite being more infectious, ‘we are not seeing more severe symptoms or complications.’
There have been no deaths linked to COVID since June 4th, and with 1,548 active cases there are only 31 in hospital. Two are in the intensive care unit. The Omicron XE was first found in the UK in January.
The health minister also assured the public via press conference that no cases of monkeypox are currently in Malta. The one case detected around 15 days ago has since recovered.