Hospitals in Tshwane, already inundated with patients of their own, have come to the rescue after a fire broke out at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
Patients from Charlotte Maxeke have been transferred to other medical facilities including the Steve Biko and Tshwane District hospitals.
Both hospitals came under the spotlight for not being able to sufficiently care for patients during the height of Covid-19.
This also comes at a time when the Gauteng Health Department has noted a rise in Covid-19 cases in Tshwane, Joburg and Ekurhuleni.
In Tshwane, there were 21 new cases in the City of Tshwane 3 sub-district, which includes Atteridgeville, Laudium, Pretoria CBD, Pretoria West Danville and Lotus. There have been 820 deaths in Region 3 since last March, the most in the Tshwane district.
Tshwane mayor Randall Williams said about 21 patients were transported to a Tshwane district hospital as of Saturday morning.
“The bravery of frontline healthcare workers based at the hospital must be praised as they played a critical role in ensuring that patients were evacuated. I would also like to send my thoughts to all those that were affected by the fires and pray that they recover fully,” he said.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said Charlotte Maxeke would be temporarily shut down for seven days following the devastating fire.
As firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night on Friday and into Saturday morning, 400 patients were evacuated to other hospitals in the province.
Makhura said a call centre had been set up to deal with the concerns of 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.
Makhura said the province could not afford to have Charlotte Maxeke Hospital closed for too long as it was one of the pre-eminent hospitals in the province.
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.
Makhura said while they did not suspect foul play, he still wanted a full investigation into what caused the blaze.