Two-thirds of UK Omicron positives say they had COVID before

Two-thirds of UK Omicron positives say they had COVID before
Jan 26 2022 Share

The findings of a large, continuing study have shown that two-thirds of people recently infected with the Omicron variant say they had COVID-19 previously. The study, React, which swab-tests thousands of volunteers in England, still requires some more work to know how many are true reinfections.

However, results are revealing the groups of people which are more likely to contract the virus again. These also include healthcare workers and households with kids or lots of members under one roof. More than two million people have been tested in the study, with the latest findings based on 100,000 PCR tests posted to volunteers and then returned. 

About 4,000 were positive, one of the highest rates since the pandemic began. When a selection of them were sequenced to check which type of COVID was the culprit, almost all were Omicron. Two out of every three (65%) of the infected volunteers said they had already previously tested positive for COVID. There could be instances where the latest PCR might be picking up old virus traces. Other estimates suggest one in every 10 Omicron case is a possible reinfection. 

UK’s health security agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said that although vaccines may not stop every infection, they were doing a great job at protecting lives. 


Pope Francis’ visit set for April – election rumours abound

Pope Francis’ visit set for April - election rumours abound
Jan 26 2022 Share

Pope Francis is rumoured to have a visit confirmed for Malta on the 2nd and 3rd of April. President George Vella and Prime Minister Robert Abela allegedly agreed to the dates proposed by the Vatican. 

This visit was meant to occur back in May of 2020 and then December of 2021, but the pandemic continuously delayed the event. 

The news has also sparked rumours that the date might indicate a March election, as Vatican protocol necessitates the Pope does not travel before an election. This has not yet been confirmed, but rumours are plentiful. 


Photo Source: Robert Abela FB , America Magazine

Huge backlash after Fearne scraps mandatory vaccine certificate rules

Jan 25 2022 Share

Moments ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that the mandatory vaccine certificate rule will be removed for most establishments in Malta next month. Amongst other changes, vaccine certificates will no longer be mandatory for restaurants, snack bars and band clubs as of 7th February and for bars, gyms and pools as of 14th February.

While this news was welcomed by some, others have expressed that they feel betrayed and have claimed that such a decision is being taken due to the impending arrival of the general election, with fears that people would not go out to vote. Some have explained that they feel it is unfair that they had to take the vaccine shot against their will due to the restrictions in place, having to queue for hours on end, only for the certificate rules to be scrapped.

Others have gone as fair as calling the Deputy Prime Minister a “clown” due to such a U-turn on Malta’s vaccine rules. Despite this, Fearne stated that such decisions were taken by the health authorities based on “scientific criteria”, going on to state that science now allows people to enjoy their cultural and social life.

With regards to the entertainment sector, Gianpula Village director Matthew De Giorgio stated that the entertainment industry has been “left in the dark”, as the Deputy Prime Minister did not mention what the future holds for events while vaccine certificate rules remain in place for nightclubs. De Giorgio highlighted that while industries across Europe have been given a direction, Malta’s entertainment scene “is still seen as a third class sector.”

What do you make of these decisions?


Village feasts may make a return this summer; meetings to be held with enthusiasts and Curia

Village feasts may make a return this summer; meetings to be health with enthusiasts and Curia
Jan 25 2022 Share

In a sudden announcement regarding Malta’s vaccine certificate rules, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne has stated that the Health Authorities plan on bringing back village feasts this summer.

A number of meetings will be held with the Curia and feasts enthusiasts & participants in this regard and while it is too early to confirm, the intentions are there. Regarding Malta’s COVID-19 situation, Fearne stated that the country has made progress thanks to the high booster uptake, with close to 75% of the adult population having received the booster in past weeks.

While vaccine certificate rules only came into place last week, the Health Minister stated that such a change was made as “scientific criteria” allows the authorities to make them. He went on to state that while science isn’t always popular, it is “almost always right” and now allows citizens to enjoy their social and cultural life without endangering public health.

Do you welcome such a decision?

Photo source: Reveal Malta