At least 27 die in fire at Baghdad hospital housing Covid patients

At least 27 people were killed and 46 injured in a fire on Saturday at a hospital in south-east Baghdad that had been equipped to house Covid-19 patients, medical sources at three nearby hospitals said.

The fire at the Ibn Khatib hospital in the Diyala Bridge area of the Iraqi capital occurred after an accident caused an oxygen tank to explode, the sources said.

Many ambulances were rushing towards the hospital, ferrying away those hurt by the fire, a Reuters photographer said.

Patients not injured in the incident were also being transferred out of the hospital.

The head of Iraqi civil defence unit told the state news agency INA that the fire broke out on the floor designated for the pulmonary intensive care unit and that 90 of 120 people in the hospital have been rescued.

Maj Gen Kadhim Bohan added that the fire has now been put out.

Iraq’s healthcare system, already ruined by decades of sanctions, war and neglect, has been stretched further during the coronavirus crisis.

The total number of people infected with Covid-19 in Iraq is 102,5288 including 15,217 deaths, the health ministry said on Saturday.



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