A reform of excavation rules, a major issue at the start of March, has taken a back seat as the government shifts all its focus to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.  

Miriam Pace was killed when her home collapsed on to a building site on March 2 in the latest construction incident in the country.

Two days after the tragedy, an “angry” Prime Minister Robert Abela had announced an urgent reform of the rules and procedures governing digging at construction sites. 

A four-person panel led by a retired judge was appointed to work on the reform.

However, sources said that while the expert panel was still at work, the government would not be rolling out any recommendations they make for now, with the focus shifting to dealing with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which hit Malta the weekend after the Pace family home collapsed.

“Right now all our focus is on dealing with the issue of coronavirus and containing it as much as possible," a senior government source said.

"This is where all our focus is going. Unfortunately, although this [safety on excavation sites] is also a very important issue that impacts people’s safety, there will be nothing announced on this matter, at least not for another week." 

The 54-year-old mother of two died when her family home was reduced to a pile of rubble after it collapsed into a next-door construction site.

Police have arrested and interrogated six people - all linked to the building works - in relation to the death.

And although police sources say they have started to build a case against those involved, investigators have told Times of Malta that  it will be "some time" before anyone is charged in court - especially as the courts have now been closed in a bid to stop the local spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.  

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