India hospital fire kills 13 amid Covid oxygen crisis

India hospital fire kills 13 amid Covid oxygen crisis
Patients were evacuated from the hospital on Friday morning after the blaze was put out. EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
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Daily US Times: At least 13 patients have died in an Indian hospital treating Covid patients near Mumbai. The incident happened after a fire broke out in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

The blaze took place at the hospital early on Friday and was extinguished and four survivors have been moved to nearby hospitals, authorities said.

The incident comes amid a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections in India.

The spike has overwhelmed hospitals, creating a critical oxygen shortage, ventilators and intensive care beds.

India recorded 332,730 coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest one-day tally anywhere in the world for the second day in a row.

Daily deaths from Covid-19 in the country rose by a record 2,263 in the previous 24 hours.

The fire happened at the Vijay Vallabh hospital in the Virar area of the western state of Maharashtra, which is about 43 miles north of Mumbai.

It is not clear yet how the blaze started, and Maharashtra’s chief minister has ordered an inquiry.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered condolences on Twitter calling the incident “tragic”.

The rising number of coronavirus cases has resulted in a deepening healthcare crisis that has gripped several states. PM Modi is due to hold meetings with chief ministers of the most affected states and oxygen manufacturers on Friday.

India’s top court has asked the central government for a national plan by Friday, on bolstering supply, treatment, oxygen, medicine and vaccines.

The Indian Supreme Court called the situation a “national health emergency” – six high courts across the country are hearing petitions involving medical shortages.

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