GP govt announces 7-day closure of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital due to fire damage

Scores of patients are being evacuated from the facility in Johannesburg as firefighters from across the province battle the blaze which has swept through several parts of the hospital.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced the temporary closure of Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital during his visit with MECs for Health and Infrastructure, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi and Tasneem Motara, Saturday 17 April 2021 to inspect the damage to the facility following a fire. Picture: Twitter/@GautengHealth

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng government has moved to temporarily shut down Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital following severe fire damage.

Scores of patients are being evacuated from the facility in Johannesburg as firefighters from across the province battle the blaze which has swept through several parts of the hospital.

The fire was first detected on Friday morning at the hospital's storeroom for medical supplies.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire but 12 hours later it re-ignited.

READ: 3rd floor parking collapses as Charlotte Maxeke Hospital blaze continues

Gauteng premier David Makhura addressed the media following an inspection of the charred building.

"We have to announce that we have to temporarily shut down Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for seven days."

He said the hospital will suspend services for seven days as the structure of the building has been compromised.

As thick plumes of smokes funnel through the hospital, Makhura said the temporary closure was a precautionary measure.

"There has been no loss of life, there is no casualty as a result of the fire. But we must take precautionary measures because the smoke that is coming in here is going into the different wards. The temporary suspension of operations here is something that was not taken lightly."

At the same time, the Gauteng health department said details about the relocation of patients who have been evacuated from the hospital would be revealed in due course.

ALSO READ: Charlotte Maxeke Hospital fire: Patients relocated to neighbouring facilities

The department in collaboration with emergency services have been evacuating patients at the hospital following an all-night raging fire.

The patients were taken to neighbouring hospitals.

Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said: “This morning one of the things that we had been developing, also in conversation with the management overnight, is then to also say ‘How do we begin to communicate? Which patients have gone to which facilities?’ just to provide comfort to their families. So, when the information is properly consolidated, we will be able to communicate with the relevant people and loved ones.”

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