India Covid hospital fire kills 11

8
Mumbai

Fire tore through a hospital in western India on Sat-urday killing at least 11 coronavirus patients, offi-cials said.

The blaze was the latest to hit pandemic wards across India. There were about two dozen patients at the intensive care unit in the hospital in Ahmadnagar district, Maharashtra state, when the fire broke out, officials said. Most of the dead were aged over 60.

The hospital ward, which was left a charred wreck, had been newly built for coronavirus patients. Maharashtra state Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray ordered a formal investigation into the blaze and safety conditions at the hospital 250 kilometres from the regional capital Mumbai.

India’s underfunded public health system was pushed to breaking point by a coronavirus surge in April-May. But a number of Covid-19 hospitals were hit by fire tragedies. At least 16 Covid-19 patients and two nurses were killed in a blaze at a hospital in Gujarat state in May. A police investigation blamed a short-circuit in the hospital’s ICU.—AFP

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