A total of 29 new COVID-19 cases were detected overnight between Monday and Tuesday, while four coronavirus patients recovered, the health authorities said.

In their daily update on Facebook, the health authorities said they carried out 1,882 swabs overnight. 

New cases

Eighteen of the 29 cases have been classified as 'sporadic', meaning contact tracing teams have not been able to link them to previously-known cases. 

Of the remaining cases, two are part of a Paceville cluster, three are from Mount Carmel Hospital and five involve family members of known cases. A sixth case involved a patient coming into contact with a known case at work. 

Contact tracing to establish how many people might have been infected by the new cases is currently underway. 

The new cases and recoveries bring the total number of active cases to 440, the highest-ever number. 

Malta has been registering double-digit new cases for almost two weeks, with the numbers continuing to spike over the past week. On Sunday, a record 54 new COVID-19 case were found. A similar figure, 52 cases, had been detected in April.

Although the wearing of masks in shops and public transport has been made mandatory and large events have been banned, no other restrictive measures have been introduced since the new cases started going up. 

This has prompted doctors to take industrial action, bringing to a halt most non-essential medical services. The action, which started last week, was still ongoing on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, rumours of a lockdown for the elderly and most vulnerable, which started making the rounds on WhatsApp on Tuesday have been shut down as "fake" by the health authorities. 

On Tuesday, Times of Malta reported there has been an increase in fake news over the past days as the number of new cases spike, with false stories circulating on social media and WhatsApp. 

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