Fire kills 11 at COVID-19 facility as India posts record rise in infections


Eleven patients have died after a fire at a coronavirus treatment facility in India, as the country posted a record daily rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The blaze, the country’s second such incident in four days, ripped through the Hotel Swarna Palace in the city of Vijayawada, southeast India, on Sunday morning.
The hotel was being used as a COVID-19 facility, reports Sky News.
Rescue teams worked to save those trapped in the multi-storey building and 22 people have been taken to hospital, a police spokesman said.
An electrical short-circuit appeared to be the cause of the fire, which broke out at around 5am and was brought under control after several hours, the spokesman added.
Indian Prime Narendra Modi said he was “anguished” by the blaze, adding: “My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones.
“I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible.”
India’s home minister Amit Shah called the blaze a “tragic fire accident”.
He insisted “all possible support” would be provided to the state government.
On Thursday, eight people were killed in a fire in the intensive care unit of a private COVID-19-designated hospital in Ahmedabad, western India.
Fires are common in many buildings in India because of poor safety standards, with inadequate fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire alarm systems.
The latest blaze came as India recorded a record daily jump in coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 64,399 new infections.
It is the third consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 60,000 in India.
More than 2,153,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus in India, the world’s third highest total behind the US and Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the pandemic.
A total of 43,379 people infected with COVID-19 have died in India.




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