With Malta’s cases on the rise, and the seven-day moving average reaching 60 cases daily, questions have been raised as to whether the island will see a return of mitigation measures introduced at the start of the pandemic.

On Friday, 75 new cases of the virus were registered and 31 new recoveries, bringing the total number of active cases to 625.

While Malta’s bars, restaurants and retail outlets were made to close when fewer daily active cases were registered, many have questioned whether this latest rise in numbers will mean a return of some of the more restrictive mitigation measures.

Countries across Europe have re-introduced mitigation measures to deal with increases in the virus, such as the United Kingdom imposing a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants, Spain’s capital of Madrid back in lockdown and restrictions on bars and restaurants in some French cities.

Asked by a TVM reporter during Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci’s Friday COVID briefing whether this latest increase in cases will result in measures being re-introduced, she highlighted the authorities’ wish to avoid doing so due to other issues caused by such measures.

“We expect people to see they need to be responsible in the public. Many countries are increasing measures again because they are seeing numbers increase, however this also creates more problems for people.

“While you are increasing measures, you are also bringing in other problems, like we saw when we increased measures at the beginning of the pandemic.

“In fact, the WHO as well as the ECDC published a report where they appealed with the public and authorities to, as much as possible, make use of mitigation measures at hand, so that we can avoid further spread and avoid the introduction of further measures.”

Prof Gauci went on to say that the current situation is one that will be with us for some more time, and as the world lurches towards the introduction of a vaccine, she hopes that current measures in place will be adhered to strictly, while the public acts responsibly, to avoid spreading the virus and ultimately reduce the impact for all people effected.

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