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More than 200 patients evacuated from a Cape Town hospital after a fire broke out on Saturday have been given the green light to return.

Western Cape health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the fire department had inspected Mitchells Plain District Hospital and declared it safe for patients to be moved back into the wards.

“The hospital is being cleaned before patients are moved back‚ and this will take a few hours‚” she said.

However‚ the emergency centre at the hospital — where the fire started in the roof void — would not reopen.

“A temporary emergency centre has been set up to attend to the walk-in patients‚ while Emergency Medical Services will be transferring patients that require hospital admission to other hospitals‚” said Mbombo.

The alarm was raised at 7.15am when staff noticed thick smoke and contacted the provincial health operations centre‚ which activated its major incident plan. A total of 202 patients were evacuated with no injuries to patients or staff reported‚ said Mbombo.

Theo Layne‚ spokesman for City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services‚ said the fire was quickly “confined and contained” but the cause had not yet been established.

Mbombo said no visitors would be allowed at the hospital until all patients had been moved back into their wards.

“The department would like to thank staff and its partners for the swift co-ordination and collaboration which ensured the safety of patients and moving them back‚” she said.

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