A firm that offered gardening, street cleaning, and similar services suddenly started supplying alcohol gel and protective masks, following the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. The owner of the company does not see it as a strange jump in offerings because what he offers is 24 years of experience in administrative contracting, including 12 years of this type of work with contacts in China.
The CCSS needed to make an emergency purchase of protective equipment in a hurry in order to deal with the pandemic. The firm won a bid to provide 2,890,000 face masks to the CCSS, a contract worth about $1.1 million.
Then the problems began. The company delivered 700,000 masks that were labeled not for medical use. These were sent out to different medical clinics and hospitals and then recalled. The company insists they are mislabeled and actually are for medical use as they have 95% filtration. Still, they are not the brand that was ordered.
Investigations are underway into the officials behind the contract award and the various delays and issues along the way. There is an administrative process against six CCSS officials and another one against the firm.