The COVID-19 pandemic in Malta is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case of the disease in Malta was an Italian 12-year-old girl on 7 March 2020. The girl and her family were in isolation, as required by those following the Maltese health authority’s guidelines who were in Italy or other highly infected countries. Later, both her parents were found positive as well.
A mandatory quarantine was imposed on travellers and those who were possibly in contact with those who travelled abroad. A mandatory lockdown was imposed on those over the age of 65 and/or suffering from chronic health conditions. WHO praised the Maltese government’s response to the pandemic, before the number of cases rose to 52 on 7 April. On May Day, because the reproductive rate of the virus was below 0, the first relaxation of some measures were announced.
Malta’s second wave of the virus, which was more severe, began in the summer of 2020.
On 12 May 2021, the Minister for Health, Chris Fearne, stated that Malta would be the first EU country to open up the vaccine to its population of over 16 years of age. On 25 May 2021, Fearne announced that 70% of the Maltese population had become fully vaccinated, making it the first nation in the world to reach the minimum estimated benchmark for herd immunity against the virus.
As of 11 December 2021[update], Malta has reported 40,443 confirmed cases, 38,329 recoveries and 470 deaths, while 1408 cases remain active.
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. Early in the pandemic, it was noted that the case fatality ratio for COVID-19 was much lower than SARS of 2003 but that the transmission was significantly greater and would thus lead to a significant total death toll.
On 7 March, Malta reported its first three cases of coronavirus: an Italian family consisting of a 12-year-old girl and her parents, who arrived in Malta on 3 March from Rome after a holiday in Trentino. The girl was the first case, with the parents testing positive for the coronavirus later in the day. They had been in self-quarantine since arriving from Italy, and they were held in isolation at Mater Dei Hospital.
On 23 March, the total number of confirmed cases in the country crossed over 100 as another seventeen new cases were reported.
The first death due to COVID-19 in Malta was reported on 8 April in a press-conference held by the Minister for Health & Superintendent of Public Health. The victim was a 92-year-old woman from Gozo.
On 8 August, the total number of confirmed cases in the country crossed over 1000. On 2 December, the total number of confirmed cases in the country crossed over 10,000.
In May 2021, Malta became the first EU country to open up the vaccine to the entire population. On 25 May 2021, the health minister announced that 70% of the Maltese population had become fully vaccinated, making it the first nation in the world to reach the minimum estimated benchmark for herd immunity against the virus.