A fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg was contained on Saturday morning after firefighters fought the blaze throughout the night. Picture: Gauteng Department of Health.
A fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg was contained on Saturday morning after firefighters fought the blaze throughout the night. Picture: Gauteng Department of Health.

Gauteng Premier shuts down Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for 7 days after devastating blaze

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Apr 17, 2021

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The Premier of Gauteng, David Makhuru has announced that the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg will be temporarily shut down for seven days following a devastating fire that ripped through parts of the facility.

As firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night on Friday and into Saturday morning, 400 patients were evacuated to other hospitals in the provinces.

An additional 270 patients are still to be moved.

Makhuru, along with senior provincial government officials met with the hospital management and emergency services officials on Saturday.

He said that a call centre had been set up to deal with concerns of the families of patients and will also be used to call family members to inform them where their loved ones had been transferred to.

Of those patients who were transferred, 13 were positive for Covid-19 with two patients in the ICU.

The patients who were admitted to Charlotte Maxeke have been transferred to hospitals that include Chris Hani Baragwanath in Soweto and Steve Biko Hospital in Tshwane.

Makhuru said that the province could not afford to have Charlotte Maxeke hospital for too long as it was one of the pre-eminent hospitals in the province.

He said the temporary shut down was because of the smoke that had funnelled through hospital.

The fire was first detected early on Friday morning at the hospital’s special dispensary stores. Firefighters were able to contain the fire but 12 hours later it re-ignited.

Makhuru said that while they did not suspect foul play for the fire, he said that he still wanted a full investigation into what caused the blaze.

He urged people not to come to Charlotte Maxeke for at least the next seven days and rather seek medical attention elsewhere.

“So it's not an easy decision that we have to we had to make, but within seven days we are confident that the hospital services will be resumed,” he said.

Johannesburg Fire Department spokesman, Robert Mulaudzi said that 80 per cent of the fire and been put out and they were confident that the blaze would be extinguished by the end of the day.

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