“Zaev and Filipce claimed credit when they were building the modular Covid hospitals, but now try to blame DUI for the fire”

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What we know so far about the deadly fire in the Tetovo Covid hospital shows there were serious failures in its construction and management, the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party said in a statement. The fire, late on September 8th, while Macedonia was celebrating its 30th independence day anniversary, killed 15 patients and their family members, and now the ruling SDSM and DUI parties are accusing each other of the disaster.

The fact that the hospital burnt down in three minutes raises the issue of the dangerous PUR insulation materials that were used, which are highly flammable. Eyewitnesses say that there were no fire extinguishers or smoke detectors in the facility. The container modules were put in use without approval and Zaev himself likened the procedure to a temporary permit for placing a restaurant patio. No fire engineers were present when the facility was put in use and there was no engineer to conduct oversight. There are no differences in the construction documents between the various institutions that were involved in the project – the Healthcare Ministry and the Labour and Welfare Ministry, VMRO said in its statement.

The opposition party notes the fact that the ruling SDSM and DUI parties are now trying to shift blame to one another, as SDSM held the central Government institutions while DUI was in charge of the local institutions in Tetovo.

We remember how Zoran Zaev and Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce took helicopter rides to inspect the construction of these modular hospitals, and now they try to avoid their responsibility for the tragedy. This is shameless and miserable behavior. We need all persons involved to resign so that we can have a credible investigation, without their obstruction. Then we can determine the level of criminal accountability, the VMRO-DPMNE party demands.