WORLD


India hospital fire kills 13 Covid patients

Baku, April 23, AZERTAC

Thirteen Covid-19 patients died in a hospital fire on Friday in the latest tragedy to hit India's health care system as it buckles under a devastating wave of infections, AFP reports.

The outbreak has been blamed on a new virus variant and lax government rules allowing huge religious and political gatherings to take place in recent months.

The latest fire broke out in the hospital in the outskirts of Mumbai at around 3:00 am (2130 GMT), a local official told AFP. It has since been put out and the cause was being investigated.

"There were 17 patients inside when a fire broke out in the ICU of Vijay Vallabh Hospital, out of which 13 died and four have been shifted to other facilities," fire department official Morrison Khavari said.

India's health care system has long suffered from underfunding and the new Covid outbreak has seen critical shortages in oxygen, drugs, and hospital beds, sparking desperate pleas for help.

Earlier this week, 22 Covid-19 patients died at another hospital in the same state when the oxygen supply to their ventilators was disrupted by a leak.

And four patients died when a blaze broke out in a private hospital in Maharashtra earlier this month. In March, a fire at a Mumbai clinic killed 11.

India has recorded around four million new infections this month alone, dashing hopes at the start of the year that the country may have weathered the worst of the pandemic.

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