venko-filipce

North Macedonia Minister Resigns After Deadly COVID-19 Clinic Fire

North Macedonia’s health minister on Friday offered his resignation after an explosion and a fire ripped through a hospital treating coronavirus patients killing 14 people

“The tragedy in Tetovo affected me very much… as a doctor and minister I presented, for ethical reasons, my resignation to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev,” Venko Filipce told reporters in Skopje.

Deputy Health Minister Ilir Hasani and two hospital directors have already resigned over the blaze.

It was not yet known if the premier would accept the latest resignation.

Twelve patients and two visitors died in the blaze which broke out late on Wednesday at a temporary building joined to the main hospital in Tetovo, west of the capital Skopje.

The youngest victim was aged 29, the oldest 79.

North Macedonia has reported a rise in coronavirus infections recently, with the daily death toll reaching around 30.

It has recorded more than 6,100 fatalities in total since the start of the pandemic.

Covid-19 hospitals in other countries have been hit by explosions followed by fires.

In Iraq, dozens of people were killed in fires that occurred after oxygen cylinders exploded in April and July.

AFP

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