Disasters & Accidents

3 Covid-19 patients die in Bangladesh hospital that caught fire

Dhaka, Mar 17 (efe-epa).- At least three critically ill Covid-19 patients died during the evacuation from an intensive care unit of a Bangladesh hospital in Dhaka that caught fire on Wednesday, officials said.

Fire service officer Kamrul Islam said the fire started at the Covid-19 unit on the third floor of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 8:10 am local time.

Firefighters controlled the blaze within half-an-hour, he said. The reason for the fire was not known immediately.

Hospital deputy director Alauddin Al Azad said three patients died while they were being shifted to other facilities.

“None of them received a burn injury. But they died while they were being shifted as they were already in critical condition,” Azad told EFE.

Azad suspected an electric short circuit at the ICU might have sparked the fire.

A total of 14 critically ill Covid-19 patients were under treatment in the ICU when it caught fire, he said.

Currently, over 500 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment at the public hospital, he said.

Bangladesh has recorded 560,887 Covid-19 infections as of Wednesday. These include 1,719 detected on Tuesday.

The disease has claimed 8,597 lives in the country, according to the health department.

Nearly 4.6 million people have received the anti-Covid-19 vaccine so far in the country. These include more than 94,000 people who got inoculated on Tuesday.

Fires and other dangerous industrial incidents are regular occurrences in Bangladesh, which has been under international scrutiny for years due to the precarious safety conditions in its factories.

According to figures from the Bangladesh Firefighters Service, between 2004 and 2018, at least 1,970 people died in the heavily populated South Asian country in the 89,923 fires reported during that time. EFE-EPA

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