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13 COVID-19 patients die in Indian hospital fire

13 COVID-19 patients die in Indian hospital fire
April 23
09:15 2021

Thirteen patients have died in a fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Vasai-Virar, India.

The fire is reported to have broken out at 3 am on Friday in the intensive care unit (ICU) on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital at Virar.

According to Times of India, an official said there were 90 patients in the hospital of which 18 were in the ICU.

Five patients were said to have been rescued from the ICU while 13 patients — five women and eight men died in the inferno.

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The other patients in the hospital were not affected by the fire as it was confined to the ICU.

Vivekanand Kadam, district disaster control cell chief, said firefighters were able to put out the fire in about an hour.

In a post via his official Twitter handle, Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister, described the incident as tragic and condoled with the families of the deceased.

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“The fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Virar is tragic. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon,” he said.

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In a subsequent tweet on his official handle, the prime minister approved ex-gratia payments to families of the deceased and to those injured.

“PM Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Virar, Maharashtra. Rs. 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured,” the tweet said.

In similar incidents, 22 COVID-19 patients died at a public hospital in Maharashtra state on Wednesday when their oxygen supply ran out owing to a leak, while nine coronavirus patients died in a hospital fire in Mumbai in March.

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These incidents come amid India’s struggle to contain the rising spread of COVID-19.

On Friday, India recorded a single-day count of nearly 332,730 coronavirus cases and 2,263 deaths.

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