€1.7 million highly infectious diseases unit being set up at Mater Dei

Specialised unit to treat patient suffering from highly contagious diseases being constructed at Mater Dei Hospital

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne visited the ongoing works on the new unit on Thursday
Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne visited the ongoing works on the new unit on Thursday

A specialised unit to cater for patients suffering from highly contagious diseases is being set up at Mater Dei Hospital.

The €1.7 million High Degree Isolation Unit will be housed within the hospital's infectious diseases department.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said the unit, the construction of which is being part-financed by the EU, will ensure Malta is prepared for every eventuality when it comes to infectious diseases, including Marburg virus, Dengue fever, Ebola, Lassa fever, SARS CoV and highly pathogenic influenza strains.

"By the end of the year, Mater Dei will be one of the few centres in Europe which can deal with patients suffering from these types of diseases, while offering a service of the best quality and without being of any danger to medical staff," Fearne said on Thursday.

The infrastructural works are being coordinated by the Foundation for MEdical Services (FMS), with the unit having being designed by local and foreign experts in collaboration with professionals from Mater Dei Hospital.

FMS COO Andrew Vella Zarb also highlighted that the unit required certain structural and engineering specifications, which were different from those used in other hospital wards, in order to offer the best possible security. This included a specific air-purification system, he said.

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