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Nurses’ Union Chief Faces Criticism For Meeting Pope While Malta Records Largest Single-Day Rise In COVID-19

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Paul Pace, the President of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, is facing criticism for travelling to Rome to visit the Pope on the day Malta recorded its largest single-day rise in new COVID-19 cases. 

Pace met with the Pope on Wednesday 16th September where he exchanged a tunic signed by Maltese nurses and midwives. In return, the Pope presented Pace with a zucchetto that he had worn to commemorate the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Although a nice gesture, Pace’s visit has been criticised as ill-timed considering that Malta just recorded 106 new cases of COVID-19, the largest single-day rise since the pandemic made its way to the island back in March. 

Since then, the number of active cases has continued to rise, with the virus now hitting nursing homes.

“These are the people who should be leading by example. Paul attacked the airports and then went away for something quite frivolous,” a healthcare worker told Lovin Malta.

The MUMN had been quite critical about the government’s decision to reopen the airport over summer and even orchestrated industrial action for a brief period in light of the second wave of COVID-19.

However, healthcare workers are now criticising the union and its some of its members, who have chosen to travel during these trying times, claiming that they should be leading by example.

“It’s not just him, it’s more members of the union too, some of who work at hospital and will come back after travelling.”

Earlier this year, emergency department nurses left he MUMN to join the General Workers Union, claiming that they were unhappy with the attitude that the MUMN has adopted towards the hospital management.

Paul Pace refused to answer questions when contacted by Lovin Malta, dismissing the issue as “stupid”.

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