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There are 0 COVID-19 patients in the ITU

 - COVID-19 - Oct 13 SHARE ON:
There are 0 COVID-19 patients in the ITU

Mater Dei currently has no COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit, with 7 patients being treated for the virus at the hospital. 

On the 13th of October, 18 new cases of COVID-19 were registered, along with 13 new recoveries. Malta has 285 active cases and has had a total of 459 deaths. 

As of yesterday, 844,723 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered. Of these, 27,409 were booster doses. 

The health ministry had revealed that the focus had shifted from the number of cases and onto the number of hospitalisations. The vaccine rollout has largely contributed to the lower number of cases and the easing of measures. 

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PN MP challenges Fearne over rumour of snap election called next week

 - Budget 2022 - Oct 13 SHARE ON:
PN MP challenges Fearne over rumour of snap election called next week

Speaking on ONE TV’s show ‘Taf X’Qed Jghidu’ lat night, Shadow Finance Minister Mario De Marco raised up the now escalating rumour of a snap election to Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne. Debating about the 2022 Budget presented last Monday by Minister Clyde Caruana, the PN MP that people are expecting better from the Labour administration given that they have been in power for 9 years. Following question prompts by the host, De Marco went on to say;

‘The PL government wants to go for an early election; the rumour is that it will dissolve Parliament on Tuesday.’ Fearne however did not hold back any punches and said that it is De Marco who is bringing up the rumour. Fearne did not address the answer directly, shifting the topic onto the PN. He suspects that the PN too want an early election despite having the polls against them. They want this because they are, according to Fearne, tired of their leader (Bernard Grech) and want to replace him as they did his predecessor. 

De Marco dismissed this argument, asking the Health Minister once again whether the election will be announced soon. Fearne again refused to confirm or deny. With rumours that Prime Minister Robert Abela was considering a snap election floating around, the PM refused to settle the rumours during multiple press conferences. He said he was only focused on implementing measures announced in the Budget. 

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Photo Source: Chris Fearne FB

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Plastic packaging for fruit set for 2022 ban in France

 - Food - Oct 13 SHARE ON:
Plastic packaging for fruit set for 2022 ban in France

France will be banning plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables starting January 2022. In a bid to reduce plastic waste, France’s environment ministry published a list of around 30 fruits and vegetables which will be sold without plastic packaging starting January 1st. These include aubergines, round tomatoes, apples, bananas, oranges and leeks. 

The ministry issued a statement expressing how we use an outrageous amount of single use plastic in our daily lives. ‘The circular economy law aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging.’ 

It is currently estimated that 37% of fruit and vegetables are sold with packaging, with the measure set to prevent more than one billion useless plastic packaging items per year. French fruit sellers federation Francois Roch stated however that switching to cardboard will be difficult in such a short amount of time. 

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Photo Source: France24

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Budget incentives for mass electric car switch not enough

 - Budget 2022 - Oct 13 SHARE ON:
Budget incentives for mass electric car switch not enough

In a joint statement by car importers, it was expressed that the budget measures introduced to encourage people to switch to electric vehicles are insufficient to sway the bulk of a population. Both the Used Vehicles Importers Association (UVIA) and Malta Cars Importers Association (MCIA) stated that 85% of the vehicles they import could be converted into electric cars. This means that with the proper measures introduced by the government, the country would theoretically achieve its target far quicker. 

With UVIA representing second-hand car importers and MCIA new car importers, the associations welcomed the grant increases and measures but said that the initiatives will not be enough to sway the bulk of Malta’s population. The associations recognised that new vehicles should benefit from higher grants but they argued that there is a discrepancy between grants for new and used cars, which is far too broad. This crates an imbalance in the market, they said, and thus many lower-income earners would not be able to afford electric vehicles despite higher grants. 

This comes after Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, in his Budget 2022 presentation, unveiled measures to encourage a shift towards electric vehicles. This includes a €11,000 grant for those wishing to buy an electric or plug-in hybrid car which can go up to €12,000 if an old vehicle is scrapped. With the government committing itself to increasing the amount charing pillars in the coming three years, the previous front stood at €8,000.

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Photo Source: Clyde Caruana FB, Smart Cities World

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