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Vijayawada: Fire at Covid facility in India kills at least 10

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Rescue workers at the scene of the fire in Vijayawada

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Reuters

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The fire broke out at a hotel being used as a temporary Covid hospital

At least 10 patients have died after a fire at a temporary Covid hospital in Vijayawada, south-east India.

The fire broke out at Swarna Palace, a hotel being used to house patients, on Sunday morning.

It was brought under control in half an hour and all surviving patients have been moved to another hospital in the city, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “anguished” by the blaze, the second fire at a Covid centre in days.

Sunday’s fire started shortly after 05:00 (23:30GMT).

More than 20 people were injured. They have been taken to a hospital elsewhere in the city.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. An investigation has been launched.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that his thoughts were with those affected.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has already announced that the victims’ relatives will receive compensation of five million rupees (£51,000).

The fire comes after eight patients died at a Covid hospital in Ahmedabad on Thursday after a fire broke out inside its critical care unit.

A senior fire department official told BBC Gujarati that the blaze had spread after a staff member’s PPE kit caught fire due to a short circuit.

India has the third-highest number of Covid cases in the world, with more than 2.1 million infections recorded. More than 43,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

On Sunday, the country recorded 64,000 cases, a new single-day record.



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