Archbishop Charles Scicluna warned people to remain vigilant in the face of COVID-19, and urged the authorities to pull one rope in dealing with the pandemic.

Celebrating thanksgiving Mass at Christ the King Basilica in Paola, Mgr Scicluna referred to "recent circumstances" and warned people not to let their guard down.

"The authorities have the responsibility to offer direction and we have the responsibility to follow guidelines. If everyone issued their own protocol, there would only be confusion.

"In all that they do, authorities follow scientific updates, but a ship will not head in the right direction if it has a lot of captains. I call, not only for solidarity and responsibility, but also for all to pull the same rope," he urged.

Over the past days, popular parties and feasts were cancelled as the number of active COVID-19 cases soared to 112, but international music festivals drawing thousands from overseas are still due to take place.

At least 20 patients are linked to a pool party and another six traced to a cluster of patients who attended religious feast celebrations at Santa Venera.

Health Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci were present for the Mass, during which the archbishop paid tribute to front liners. 

"We show our solidarity with them and also pray for them as there is much more to do," he said. 

In his homily, he said experts were not only fighting the coronavirus pandemic, but also the pandemic of ignorance.

"There are those who think we can ignore what science teaches us. Ignorance, or lack of responsibility, is as dangerous to our health as much as the virus."

In similar vein, carers, nurses and other professionals were not only caring for patients physically, but with their love and sacrifice they were healing psychological and spiritual wounds. COVID-19, he added, had brought about solitude, stigma and marginalisation.  

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