Philippines extinguishes five-hour fire at Manila hospital | New

Officials are calling on large industrial fans to remove smoke after a fire starts at the Philippine General Hospital.

Firefighters put out a fire at one of the Philippines’ largest hospitals that had caused the evacuation of dozens of people from the facility, which also treats coronavirus patients.

No casualties were reported in Sunday’s fire at the government-run Philippine General Hospital in the capital, Manila. The fire went out five hours after its outbreak, at dawn.

Its cause is not known and hospital authorities could not be reached for comment.

Dr Jay Germer, a professor at the College of Medicine at the University of the Philippines, said all hospital staff and patients were safe and cared for.

β€œThe problem now is the smoke in the theaters,” she said.

Vice-President Leni Robredo appealed on Twitter for “big industrial fans” to clear the smoke caused by the blaze.

Some patients have been transferred to nearby hospitals, including two who needed surgery and 12 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit, CNN Philippines said, citing hospital officials.

Patients infected with COVID-19 have meanwhile been evacuated to an intensive care unit and emergency room in a separate ward of the hospital, the Rappler website reported.

β€œWe secured them there and made sure they couldn’t mix with our non-COVID patients,” said Dr Jonas del Rosario, a spokesperson for the hospital.

Staff at the facility said the fire started in an operating room supply area shortly after midnight.

The hospital has more than 1,300 beds and treats 600,000 patients a year, according to its website.

With more than 1.1 million infections and more than 19,000 deaths, the Philippines ranks second in Southeast Asia in terms of COVID-19 cases.

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