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At least 14 coronavirus patients died in a fire at a North Macedonia hospital

At least 14 people died in a violent fire that devastated the unit for coronavirus patients of a hospital in North Macedonia, according to a report by the authorities of the Balkan country on Thursday.

The flames began during the night of Wednesday, after an explosion in the new Tetovo hospital center division, in the north-west of the country.

“A huge tragedy it happened in the Tetovo coronavirus unit, “Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who moved to this small town, immediately confirmed.

Then he explained that the fire personnel he managed to put out the fire in 45 minutes, although he regretted that “many lives were lost.” No member of the medical staff is among those killed.

“The fire was huge because the hospital is modular and had a lot of plastic“Tetovo fire brigade deputy commander Saso Trajcevski explained to local television.

For its part, the prosecution issued an official statement and did not rule out more fatalities: “Prosecutors ordered an autopsy to identify the 14 deceased persons and we are continuing to investigate to see if there are other deceased.”

The flames devoured a part of the modular structures recently built in the hospital compound to admit Covid-19 patients. The new sector has the capacity to house 35 people, although so far the number of patients who were in the unit did not transcend.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ilber Besimi stressed that “all the patients who survived the tragedy they were saved thanks to the medical staff“.

The modular unit that cares for patients affected by the coronavirus was built last year in the hospital complex of Tetovo, a city of about 52,000 inhabitants, many of whom are part of the Albanian minority in North Macedonia.

The country, with a population of two million citizens and with poor health services, recently registered an increase in the number of infections by Covid-19 due to the Delta variant. In addition, the pandemic has so far left more than 6,100 dead in that territory.

In the midst of the increase in those infected, the health system began to overflow and the hospitals are collapsed in some sites, especially those with low vaccination rates.

With information from AFP.

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