Updated 2.10pm

A further 12 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours as Malta continues to grapple with a spike in numbers after weeks of few cases. 

It brings the number of active cases in the country to 112. In its daily update on Facebook, the health ministry said there were now 46 active cases of the virus, declining to include the 66 migrants who also tested positive on their arrival to Malta.

Those 66 cases were only noted in a footnote. 

The move led to criticism on social media and accusations that the health authorities were providing misleading figures. 

A large number of swab tests were carried out - some 1,615 - between Tuesday and Wednesday. 

New case details

Of the 12 new cases, five are linked to a cluster of cases connected to those who attended religious feast celebrations at Santa Venera last week. 

Two are connected to the Hotel Takeover party, which saw hundreds of people attend a pool and dance party at the Radisson Blu, St Julians.

The remaining five are sporadic cases, meaning that they have no obvious connection to coronavirus patients. 

Medical sources told Times of Malta that two surgeons and two anesthesiologists were sent home on quarantine on Tuesday after a patient they performed surgery on tested positive for the virus.

The four medics join six doctors who were quarantined this week after a ward at Mater Dei Hospital was sealed off due to a COVID-19 case.  

The Central Bank also said a member of its staff had tested positive on Tuesday. All employees working in the department concerned and others who may have been in contact with the employee have been instructed to work from home and get tested.

The premises have been disinfected. 

The latest figures bring the total number of cases to 720 (786 including the migrant cases). No patients recovered. 

The recent spike in cases, after weeks of few or no new cases, has doctors and other healthcare professionals worried about a second wave of infections. The medical professionals are calling for a ban on mass events where hundreds of people gather together with no mitigation measures like wearing of masks or social distancing. 

The latest figures come on the same day Times of Malta revealed that thousands of revellers from abroad plan to head to Malta as a series of festivals and parties are planned to take place in the coming weeks and months. 

Though the organisers of these festivals have yet to comment on the matter, other event planners that hold weekly parties have said they will postpone any upcoming events in light of the recent spike. This included organisers G7 and Sound Salon who were behind the Hotel Takeover party.  

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