Healthcare workers have come together to urge the government to rethink its decision to reopen restaurants and hairdressers on Friday as 15 new COVID-19 cases were registered over night. 

Doctors, nurses, as well as the UHM, which represents various other healthcare professionals, say the spike in numbers in recent days meant it was no longer safe to do so. They are instead proposing that the lifting of measures is postponed by two weeks.

The healthcare workers’ call comes as the Health Ministry on Thursday announced 15 new cases, with only three recoveries. These bring the total number of active cases to 125, the highest in weeks. 

The new cases were discovered from a total of 1,358 swab tests that were carried out on Wednesday. Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci has previously said that the increase in the number of cases corresponded with an increase in the number of tests being carried out.

No more details were released as the Superintendent of Public Health's news conferences have been reduced to three a week.

'A second wave is with us' 

The healthcare workers also reiterated fears about a second wave of infections. 

"Today, with 15 new cases, a second wave of infections is with us and needs to be dealt with immediately and effectively," the said.

The number of registered cases over the past few days confirm the spike in new coronavirus patients was not a one-off but is now the trend, Medical Association of Malta head Martin Balzan told Times of Malta.

Malta Union of Nurses and Midwives head Paul Pace also echoed the concerns, saying it was "madness" to lift more measures when the impact from lifting the first set of restrictions was clearly affecting the number of cases. 

"How can we even consider re-opening restaurants and hairdressers when it is evident now that the numbers are again shooting up? 

"People have been given the wrong impression that everything is fine but it is not. Everyone is confused but the scientific evidence is clear - the virus is still among us. So it is clearly not the right time to lift measures," Pace said. 




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