Parenting classes called off as staff become contact tracers | #parenting

Hundreds of pregnant women and new parents have had their weekly parenting classes postponed after the team providing the service was moved to the COVID-19 contact tracing unit.

A spokesperson for Parentcraft Malta, a unit within Mater Dei Hospital that provides guidance on pregnancy, birth and baby care, said that parents were “devastated”.

“We have not been given any details on when we can resume operations,” the spokesperson said.

The decision on moving staff was taken after hundreds of new coronavirus cases were registered over the past week, putting enormous pressure on the team that gets in touch with people who have come in contact with infected persons.

The suspension of the parenting classes did not go down well with parents, who complained it was not fair especially on those having their first baby and who relied on the classes for essential information.

One pregnant woman added another perspective: the classes offered were the only thing “keeping parents sane” during the pandemic.

Questions on the issue sent to the health ministry remained unanswered.

Several petitions have started making the rounds online as parents urge the government to reconsider the decision.

Times of Malta reported on Friday that the authorities have also turned to students, trainees and retired health workers for help with contact tracing.

They have also brought in specialised help for schools to avoid having to isolate large numbers of students and teachers when anyone of them catches the virus.

Despite these efforts, delays of up to a week are still being reported in contact tracing.

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