Fire Burns Down COVID Hospital in North Macedonia, At Least 10 Dead
At least 10 people died in a fire at a modular hospital for patients with COVID-19 in Tetovo, North Macedonia.
This was confirmed on Twitter by Health Minister Venko Filipche, adding that the number of victims could increase. The condition of some of the patients remains serious. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on Facebook that the "huge tragedy" was caused by an explosion caused by a fire. In the publication around midnight Bulgarian time, he explained that the causes of the fire are still unclear, but the judiciary is working in the field.
The fire broke out in the fire around 10 pm Bulgarian time or in the last hours of the day of independence of North Macedonia. Yesterday, it marked 30 years since a referendum in which a majority of Macedonians voted in favor of secession from Yugoslavia.
The number of patients in the center mentioned in the media varies, but most publications speak of more than 20 people. The newspaper Sloboden Pechat, close to the government, wrote that there were no casualties among the medical staff and that 10 people were taken out of the fire alive.
More than 30 (50 according to other data) firefighters have been involved in controlling the flames. The teams talk about "huge flames" that started inside the modular center made of plastic. The extinguishing took about half an hour.
Tetovo, populated mainly by ethnic Albanians, is among the cities most severely affected by the pandemic in North Macedonia. The country has seen a sharp jump in those infected in the last month, despite efforts to speed up the vaccination campaign (more than 35% of residents have received at least one dose). There were technical problems with the same modular center two weeks ago.
Shortly after the tragedy, Zaev arrived on the scene along with Filipche and the leader of his coalition partner, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), Ali Ahmeti. The mayor of the city, Teuta Arifi, announced that no information about the incident would be spread during the night.
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