Malta is back at the top of the EU's COVID-19 concern list after having the best rate at the beginning of March, fresh data confirms.
In fresh evaluations by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published last week, even before the election celebrations saw thousands gathering to celebrate, Malta received a score of nine out of 10, the highest figure among all EU member states.
It is the first time in months that Malta's score increased to such a high level and means the country is now once again classified as being of 'very high concern'.
Only Greece and Ireland are in this category, although their score is lower than Malta's. The score is the same as that detected at the end of 2021 when record numbers were registered and thousands of people had the virus.
The ECDC score is worked out based on values for five different indicators: case notification rates, testing rates and test positivity, rates of hospitalisation and intensive care admission, occupancy, and mortality.
Malta detected 603 cases on Tuesday, the highest in months and up significantly from recent days. Despite this, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Monday, in his first address to the nation since Saturday's election, that Malta would be removing all COVID-19 restrictions.
He did not elaborate on what this would mean and whether he had discussed the matter with health experts.
Malta's positivity rate is currently around 14 per cent, similar to that recorded in January, although it is not the highest in Europe.
The positivity rate is the number of cases found from the total the number of tests carried out.