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Malta orders coronavirus lockdown for at-risk population

VALLETTA, March 26 (Xinhua) — People older than 65 and vulnerable persons with pre-existing medical conditions will be forced to stay at home throughout Malta from Saturday, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Thursday.

The measure aims to protect the most vulnerable members of the population and will apply to pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, insulin-dependent diabetics, patients on biologicals, patients on chemotherapy, patients who had a transplant or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) treatment, and patients who were admitted to hospital for some respiratory disease over the past year.

Those who live with people in any of these categories will have to observe the lockdown or find alternative accommodation.

Another new measure is that social gatherings of more than five people will not be allowed. The police will be empowered to disperse such gatherings in the streets.

These two new measures will come into effect from Saturday.

A total of 134 coronavirus cases have been registered in Malta with no death reported to date.

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