VALLETTA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Maltese health authorities on Thursday announced a record daily increase of 112 new cases, bringing the total number of active COVID-19 cases surpassing the 1,000 mark for the first time since March this year.
The 112 new cases exceeded the previous record of 111 cases reported on Wednesday. In the meantime, another 42 people recovered. So far, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed 45 lives.
In the last 24 hours, 2,481 swab tests were carried out, taking the total number of swab tests up to 289,594. The total number of cases since the first cases cropped up on March 7 now stands at 4,160. The bulk of them, 3,106, have recovered, while 1,009 are still active cases.
The Maltese government is facing increasing pressure from professionals, especially doctors, to take immediate action to curb the spread, but Prime Minister Robert Abela has ruled out any drastic measures.
On Sunday, Abela admitted that there was the need to step up enforcement of the existent measures, such as wearing masks in shops, on public transport and in private cars carrying people from different families as well as a limit on groups of more than 10 people.
He was reacting to photos that emerged on the social media of bars and other outdoor entertainment venues packed with people, without observation of any of the social distancing rules.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), face masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission and save lives.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreaks in early 2020, wearing masks in public has been widely accepted in Asian countries like China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam to limit the spread of COVID-19. Enditem