A record 218 new COVID-19 cases were detected between Sunday and Monday, smashing a previous daily high set in mid-October. 

Meanwhile, 111 patients recovered overnight, meaning the number of active coronavirus cases in Malta as of 12.30pm on Monday stood at 1937.

The new cases were found following 3557 swab tests. 

It is the second time that the number of newly-detected cases has risen above 200. Malta's previous record number of daily new cases - 204 - was recorded on October 17, one day after the government made mask-wearing mandatory in all outdoor areas.  

In comments to Times of Malta, Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci said the rise in case numbers could not be attributed to a single factor and warned numbers would rise further unless people obeyed the rules.

"Unfortunately, while many people have adapted to new restrictions and found ways to keep in touch with their families around them, others have not and this is reflected in our own enforcement," she said. 

There have been 6400 known COVID-19 cases in Malta so far. Of those, 4397 patients have recovered while 64 patients have died, with the most recent deaths being two late on Saturday.

Ten days later, authorities announced that bars would shut for all of November, in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. 

In its daily update to announce new COVID-19 cases, the Health Ministry said contact tracing teams were still investigating the 218 new cases. Of 140 cases announced on Sunday: 

  • 12 were work colleagues of positive cases
  • 11 were family members of positive cases
  • 8 were direct contacts of positive cases
  • 5 were at social gatherings with positive cases
  • 2 cases were imported

This weekend was marred with growing anger and exasperation over new coronavirus curbs, as several European nations implemented fresh lockdowns and restrictions aimed at halting galloping infections and deaths.

According to data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, as of Sunday Malta's 14-day rate of COVID-19 cases was the 16th highest in Europe. 

On Sunday, the World Health Organization chief said he was self-quarantining after someone he had been in contact with tested positive for COVID-19. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed he had no symptoms.

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