18 COVID-19 patients killed in Indian hospital fire

New Delhi — A fire in the COVID-19 ward in western India killed 18 patients early Saturday. This is because the country is working on the worst outbreak ever.

India set another daily world record with 401,993 new cases on Saturday, totaling more than 19.1 million. According to the Ministry of Health, an additional 3,523 people have died in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number of deaths to 211,853. Experts believe that both numbers are underestimated.

Police said a fire broke out in the COVID-19 ward on the ground floor of a welfare hospital in the town of Bharuch, Gujarat, and was extinguished within an hour. The cause is under investigation.

According to police officer BM Palmer, the other 31 patients were rescued from the flames by hospital workers and firefighters, and their condition was stable. At the end of last month, a fire in the intensive care unit killed 13 COVID-19 patients in the Vilar area on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Epoch Times Photo
Burnt furniture and other items can be seen after a deadly fire broke out at a welfare hospital in Bharuch, western India, on May 1, 2021. (Viral Rana / AP Photo)

The Indian capital has extended the blockade a week ago for another week to curb the explosion of virus incidents, the highest-elected official said on Twitter.

All shops and factories will remain closed until May 9th, except for those that provide basic services such as grocery stores. People are not expected to leave their homes except for reasons such as seeking medical care or going to an airport or train station. Daily wage earners and small businesses are expected to suffer further damage to their lives.

Separately, 12 COVID-19 patients, including doctors, died on Saturday after an 80-minute outage at a hospital in New Delhi, said SCL Gupta, director of Batra Hospital.

The hospital has been facing irregular oxygen supplies from manufacturers for over a week, but for the first time it has been completely exhausted, Gupta said.

He said the hospital tank was replenished with enough oxygen for 12 hours, and it is looking for replenishment again.

A New Delhi television news channel also said a lawyer at Batra Hospital complained to a New Delhi court hearing petitions from several hospitals on the matter.

Epoch Times Photo
Damaged equipment and furniture can be seen inside the burnt interior of a hospital treating COVID-19 patients after a deadly fire in Gujarat, western India, on May 1, 2021. (ANI / Reuters TV via Reuters)

Hospitals in the Indian capital are complaining about emergencies caused by an irregular oxygen supply from manufacturers due to a sudden increase in demand caused by a massive surge in infectious diseases.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the pandemic as a “one-hundred-year crisis” in the face of an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 that filled hospitals and crematoriums. Modi will hold a cabinet meeting on Friday to save the country’s collapsing health system by adding hospital beds, solving problems with oxygen production, storage and transportation, and addressing the shortage of essential medicines. Discussed the procedure.

In a familiar scene now, television images show a woman who is out of breath in a car while her family is looking for a bed in a hospital in the suburbs of New Delhi. According to the Times of India, a 33-year-old woman was unable to find a room in three hospitals and died in a car on Friday.

The White House said the United States has joined the growing list of countries restricting travel from India, citing the catastrophic increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants.

The United States also began providing remedies, rapid viral testing, and oxygen to India earlier this week, along with some of the ingredients India needs to promote domestic production of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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In this photo, provided by the US Air Force, Airman Fernando Bertrand fixed an oxygen cylinder on a pallet at Travis Air Force Base in California on April 28, 2021. (US Air Force via Nicholas Pilch / AP)

In addition, a CDC team of public health experts was expected to be on the scene shortly to help Indian health authorities act to slow the spread of the virus.

Other countries are also sending support, with the Indian Air Force airlifting oxygen containers from Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok.

A German military aircraft with 120 ventilators departed for India on Saturday morning, and other flights with more supplies were planned. According to Deutsche Presse dpa, a team of 13 people also participated to help prepare the mobile oxygen production unit to fly to India next week.

The Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.

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