No casualties reported in Steve Biko Academic Hospital fire

The Gauteng Health Department says at least 18 people and a corpse have been evacuated at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH) after a fire broke out in the early hours of Monday morning.

In a statement, the department said the fire broke out at a structure that was not inside the hospital and the patients were moved as a precaution.

“The fire broke out around 1:20am at the Wendy house used as a temporary storage area for COVID-19 medical waste and an in-transit corpse area. It also affected a special temporary isolation unit and a tent used for triage for persons under investigation. The affected areas structures were outside the casualty area of the hospital,” the statement read.

The department said the fire was contained before it could spread.

“The fire which affected temporary structures at the facility was successfully put out by SBAH hospital team using the fire extinguishers on site. Thankfully, there were no patient or staff casualties,” the department said.

Meanwhile, in her department budget vote last week, Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, said that “significant progress” is being made in the remedial work to repair the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) which itself was engulfed by fire in April last year.

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 fixed and recommissioned which 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.

Source: South African Government News Agency