Watch: Adjudication for pre-fabricated hospital stopped after Newsbook blog

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The adjudication for a pre-fabricated hospital has been stopped pending an investigation, after a blog post by Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi which was published on Newsbook.com.mt and in which he warned that it could be a scandal in the making.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne has ordered the adjudicating board to refrain from awarding the tender pending an investigation.

Replying to a question by Newsbook.com.mt, the Health Minister explained that the idea behind the prefabricated hospital was to install ready made units over a couple of days. The field hospital will be installed in a car park close to Mater Dei Hospital, Fearne said.

On Thursday afternoon, Minister Fearne addressed a press briefing in which he announced two new measures. The first measure will empower the police to disperse crowds of more than five people gathered in public. There should be a distance of two metres between people, Fearne announced, adding that the measure will come into force with immediate effect. The second measure which will come into force on Saturday is aimed at keeping vulnerable individuals at home.

On Wednesday, in a blog post published on this website, Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi warned that a prefabricated scandal could be in the making.

The call was issued on Tuesday and was closed on Thursday at noon.

The Health Minister said that upon seeing the allegations in the media, he ordered an investigation to verify the claims.

Sources close to the industry providing hospital medical supplies told this newsroom that such an equipped prefabricated hospital would cost somewhere between €80 and €90 million. Sources said that a 48-hour deadline to bid for the tender was too short if not impossible to diligently prepare for the bid.

Sources also commented on the way the document was written, noting that the lack of details when it came to the specifications of medical equipment that is to be used.

“There is a huge difference in the medical equipment one would choose, from that which is top of the range to other equipment which is of a lower quality,” the source said.

Further those who took part in the bidding process, have also agreed to renounce to appeal the final decision when the offer is adjudicated.

134 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Malta so far. Two individuals have recovered. An elderly man is receiving treatment in the intensive therapy unit at Mater Dei Hospital.

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