‘We can’t afford to have Charlotte Maxeke closed for too long,’ - Makhura

Over 400 patients have been transferred to other hospitals while an additional 270 were still to be moved following the blaze.

FILE: A fire broke out at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg on Friday, 16 April 2021. Picture: Twitter/@GautengHealth

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng premier David Makhura said the temporary closure of The Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital was a major setback considering the vital role it plays in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 400 patients have been transferred to other hospitals while an additional 270 were still to be moved following the blaze.

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

Firefighters battled to contain the fire that started on Friday and flared up again in the evening continuing overnight.

The hospital has suspended services for a week as a precautionary measure following severe structural damage.

Makhura who visited the facility on Saturday said they regret closing the hospital for this long but adds that the safety of patients and staff comes first.

“I need to say that we cannot afford to have Charlotte Maxeke closed for too long. With regards to the treatment of COVID-19 patients, this is one of our eminent facilities, this is one of our top-class hospitals in the treatment of COVID-19.”

WATCH: Charlotte Maxeke hospital shut down after fire

On Saturday, the hospital's chief executive officer Gladys Bogoshi said the facility’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign will continue, despite a debilitating fire.

The hospital is one of the province's major vaccination sites, but Bogoshi said their plans won’t be derailed by the fire.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has set up a call centre to assist the family members of patients affected by a debilitating fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.

Families and loved ones can now contact the Gauteng citizen relationship management on 0800-22 8827 or 0800 428 8364 or email hotline@gauteng .gov.za.

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