No Casualties at Steve Biko Hospital Fire Outbreak

No Casualties at Steve Biko Hospital Fire Outbreak (News Central TV)

The Gauteng health department has confirmed a fire outbreak hit Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria in the early hours of Monday.

Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the fire broke out at around 01:20am in a Wendy house that’s used as a temporary storage area for Covid-19 medical waste and as an in-transit morgue.

“It also affected a special temporary isolation unit and a tent used for triage (for persons under investigation). The affected structures were located outside the casualty area of the hospital,” Kekana added.

She said the Steve Biko hospital team used fire extinguishers that were on site to put out the fire. There were no casualties.

Eighteen patients and one corpse in separate temporary structures close to where the fire broke out, had to be moved to other areas of the hospital as a safety precaution.

“The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage”, she added. “The affected structures were located outside the casualty area of the hospital. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage,” the statement read.

Meanhile, Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, said last week that “significant progress” is being made in the remedial work to repair the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) which itself was gutted by fire in April 2021.

According to Mokgethi, this progress includes:

* Reopening of all areas of the Accident and Emergency Department;

* The reopening of the Psychiatry Acute Care Centre;

* The Paediatric Emergencies unit has also reopened;

* Obstetric and Gynae emergency service units are now open; and the CT scan has been repaired and recommissioned.  It enabled the hospital to bring the remaining Triage, COVID-19 emergency, trauma unit and medical and surgical emergency units back online.

“The multi-phase, multi-year remedial work project is being fast tracked to ensure that the facility is fully functional as quickly as possible. We remain grateful to the healthcare professional at CMJAH and at surrounding facilities for continuing to work hard to meet the needs of those who need care even as work continues at [CMJAH].

“We are equally grateful to the multiple organisations that continue to show interest in getting the facility fully functional including donors who have been… making contributions to that effect,” Mokgethi said.

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