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At least 10 die in North Macedonia COVID-19 hospital fire

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At least 10 people died and many more were injured in a hospital fire in North Macedonia, health officials said.

The devastating blaze occurred late on Wednesday in a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients in the western city of Tetovo.

Injured medical staff and patients were transported to hospitals in the capital city Skopje.

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said in a statement that there had been an explosion before the fire but said the cause was still being investigated.

“I express my deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the deceased and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Zaev said.

The country has been struggling with a wave of COVID-19 in recent weeks. Less than 30% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The health ministry said the city of Tetovo suffered the highest number of hospitalisations and deaths during the latest virus wave.

Only 19% of the city’s residents were vaccinated in July, which health officials said caused great pressure on hospitals in August.

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