At least 16 COVID-19 patients and two nurses were reported to have died when fire gutted a four-storey hospital in Bharuch, India, just as the country’s health care system buckles under a surge in coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, over 32 patients and health workers were said to have suffered some burns during the fire disaster that occurred in the western state of Gujarat and started at about 07: 30 am.
The country’s law enforcement agency, after confirming the casualties figure, revealed to newsmen on Saturday, the fire started due to a short-circuit in the ICU of the hospital.
It would be recalled that barely a week ago, a fire on the outskirts of Mumbai killed 13 Covid-19 patients, a few days after another blaze left 22 people dead at another clinic, also in Maharashtra state.
India’s health care system has long suffered from underfunding, and the new virus outbreak has seen critical shortages in oxygen, drugs, and hospital beds, with patients dying outside hospitals in some areas.
On Saturday India reported over 400,000 new Covid cases in 24 hours for the first time, the first country to do so in the pandemic, official data showed.
Many experts suspect that because of insufficient testing and inaccurate recording of the cause of death, the real numbers are much higher.