18 Covid patients die in Bharuch hospital fire

Ahmedabad, Gujrat: According to local media, at least 12 Covid-19 patients died Saturday in the latest in a string of hospital fires in India, as the country's healthcare system struggles to cope with an influx of cases.

When the fire broke out at 1:00 a.m., there were about 50 other patients at the four-story hospital in Bharuch, Gujarat's western province (0730 GMT). The fire has since been removed turned off.

"As per information at 6.30 am, the death toll in the tragedy stood at 18. Immediately after the fire, we had confirmation of 12 deaths," the Press Trust of India quoted a local police official as saying.

Press Trust of India reported gut-wrenching scenes were seen in the aftermath of the tragedy, with the charred bodies of the patients sticking to the burnt stretchers. 

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. 

A fire on the outskirts of Mumbai killed 13 Covid-19 patients on April 23, just days after another blaze in Maharashtra claimed the lives of 22 people.

Last month, 22 other coronavirus patients died at a hospital in the same state after a leak interrupted the oxygen supply to their ventilators.

India's healthcare system has long been underfunded, and the latest virus epidemic has resulted in severe shortages of oxygen, medications, and hospital beds, with some patients dying outside of hospitals.

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