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Woman isolates in plane toilet after testing positive mid-flight

Woman isolates in plane toilet after testing positive mid-flight
Jan 1 2022 Share

A US school teachers reports how she spent five hours in voluntary self-isolation in a plane’s toilet after testing positive for COVID halfway through the flight. 

Whilst travelling from Chicago to Reykjavik, Iceland, Marisa Fotieo said she felt her throat hurt during her 20th December flight. She claims to have performed a rapid test with a kit she brought with her and learned she was infected. 

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She decided to run to the toilet and remain there for the rest of the trip, with a flight attendant providing food and drinks for her. It was not immediately clear whether she had to present a COVID test before boarding. 

Ms Fotieo told NBC News that it was a crazy experience and given that there were 150 people on the flight, her biggest fear was infecting other travellers. 

A video posted on TikTok from inside the jet’s toilet earned her more than four million views and she went on to praise a flight attendant for helping her during the ordeal. 

‘She made sure I had everything I needed for the next five hours form food to drinks and constantly checked on me assuring me I would be alright. 

The teacher said that she then isolated in a Red Cross hotel upon arriving in Iceland, with her bizarre scenario coming just as the Omicron variant leads the spike in COVID cases worldwide. 

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Photo Source: AeroTime Hub

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COVID self-test kits ruled out by chief medical officer

COVID self-test kits ruled out by chief medical officer
Jan 1 2022 Share

Making self-testing kits for COVID-19 legal has been ruled out by Chief Medical Officer Walter Busuttil, mainly due to the accuracy when compared to tests carried out at authorised testing centres. 

This comes amid reports of delays in appointments for PCR tests for those getting COVID symptoms. Busuttil said that different countries are taking different decisions when it comes to self-testing. 

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So far, the decision for Malta has been not to allow self-testing due to the disadvantage of patients taking matters into their own hands and taking decisions without medical advice. He also highlighted how the self-testing kits are not 100% accurate. 

Overviewing the current situation Malta finds itself in given COVID-19, he made the comments during a TVM interview. Self-testing kits are already used extensively abroad to get as many people tested as possible. 

The wide-spread use has even resulted in shortages and people queueing for hours to get their own self-test kit. They are still illegal in Malta and cannot be sold or purchased. 

Self-testing kits involve the use of swabs and a solution in which the sample is drenched. The solution is then dripped onto a strip which then provides a result within a few minutes. 

Given their widespread use abroad, many vouch for them to become common practice to ease the pressure on testing centres and even test as many people as possible. Do you think Malta should follow suit and make them accessible? 

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Prime Minister and Opposition Leader’s goals for new year 2022

Prime Minister and Opposition Leader’s set their priorities for new year 2022
Jan 1 2022 Share

As we celebrate and welcome the new year 2022, both Prime Minister Robert Abela and Opposition leader Bernard Grech issued a speech in anticipation of what lies ahead. 

For the Prime Minister, improving the environment and ridding the country of hate speech took centre stage as priorities for 2022. Addressing the nation, Abela said that the country needed to address a new priority: the environment and our quality of life.’

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In regards to environment, Abela stated how climate change has become a global threat. Despite Malta being a small Mediterranean state, it should still do its part to curb the threat. 

He revealed the looks forward to seeing the results of the greenest incentives Malta has introduced to improve overall air quality and safeguard towns and villages. ‘We are not taking the easy road’ he said ‘as a shift in mentality is required for us to move forward.’ 

Abela also addressed hate speech and how people acted with each other. ‘Unfortunately we still see a lot of hate speech, especially online. If there is any resolution that we should have in place for 2022, it should be to stop hate speech by setting an example and not engaging in tit-for-tats’ he said. 

‘The people’s choice must be respected, and debates on thoughts and ideas must not allow for personal attacks’ he continued, alluding to the upcoming election. The Prime Minister also made reference to the impact of the pandemic, urging people to get vaccinated as the virus continues to play a role in our day-to-day lives.

On his part, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech urged voters to work with him to give the country new hope in 2022. ‘I believe we both agree that our country could be better than it currently is’ he said in his address. 

‘We need to continue building on hard work, generosity and the compassion we have always shown each other’ said Grech. He emphasised the the country should invest more to ensure that jobs pay better wages, adding that this could be achieved by investing in skills. 

He highlighted giving more value to professionals such as educators and nurses and all technical jobs ‘without which no modern society can thrive.’ ‘When we take care of our resources and public funds we would be able to make better and more responsible use of them, and support workers, the elderly and front-liners in the process.’ 

He said that this pledge to do his utmost to bring about new hope in the new year needs the help of voters. He also paid tribute to all those who passed away due to COVID-19. 

He also addressed people suffering lower quality of life, saying that ‘we are with you all. We lived through this suffering alongside you and we want our country to stand by you, not only by remaining cautious when faced by the pandemic but also by recognising the sacrifices of front-liners.’ 

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Photo Source: Robert Abela FB, Bernard Grech FB

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COVID leading to six day delay in bank cheque clearing

COVID leading to six day delay in bank cheque clearing
Jan 1 2022 Share

After the Central Bank allowed banks to assist them due to COVID-19 staff shortages, cheques might be taking up to six days to clear and cash deposits up to three days as of Saturday. 

The relaxed clearing rules are part of a directive by the Central Bank which aims at ‘outlining banks’ contingency arrangements.’ 

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The so-called Directive 17 has set the maximum outages allowed to banks as part of their contingency arrangements when providing essential services to their clients. These services include, among others, depositing and withdrawing cash, depositing, cashing and clearing cheques and bank drafts. 

The directive also gives banks more time to provide these services to clients whilst under contingency situations. This measure will come into effect as of Saturday 1st January 2022. 

The Central Bank revealed in a statement that the changes were being intended to help banks weather the current wave of COVID disruptions such as staff shortages and infection. 

The measures are:

1 – The amount time taken to clear cheques and drafts have been extended temporarily from three days to a maximum of six days.

2 – Cash deposits may also take up to three days to clear.

3 – banks must still provide over the counter cash deposit services for all those customs who do not have access to alternatives such as ATMs. 

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