Fire in Indian hospital kills 5 coronavirus patients

A health worker takes a nasal swab of a resident during a Covid-19 RT PCR and Rapid Antigen test at the Ramkrishna Mission Math monastery in Mumbai on November 24, 2020. On Thursday, fire at a hospital in Gujarat killed 5 COVID-19 patients. (AFP / Indranil Mukherjee)
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Updated 27 November 2020

Fire in Indian hospital kills 5 coronavirus patients

  • Uday Shivanand Hospital's intensive care unit was treating 33 coronavirus patient when it was hit by fire
  • In August, a fire killed eight coronavirus patients in a hospital in Ahmedabad, also in Gujarat

NEW DELHI: A fire broke out early Friday in a privately-run hospital treating coronavirus patients in western India, killing at least five of them and injuring 28 others.
Police officer K.N. Bhukan said fire engines restricted the blaze to one floor of the hospital and extinguished it within 30 minutes.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
The Press Trust of India news agency said the fire started in the intensive care unit of Uday Shivanand Hospital that was treating 33 coronavirus patients.
Some of the patients with fire burns were evacuated to another hospital in Rajkot, a city in western Gujarat state, nearly 1,100 kilometers ( 685 miles) southwest of New Delhi.
In August, a fire killed eight coronavirus patients in a hospital in Ahmedabad, another key city in Gujarat state.
Poor maintenance and lack of proper firefighting equipment often causes deaths in India.


WHO warns ‘too early to ease up’ from COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe

Updated 28 January 2021

WHO warns ‘too early to ease up’ from COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe

  • ‘We need to be patient, it will take time to vaccinate’
  • ‘Pushing transmission down requires a sustained, consistent effort’

GENEVA: The World Health Organization’s European director Hans Kluge said on Thursday COVID-19 transmission rates in Europe remained too high, putting health services under severe strain, and therefore it was “too early to ease up.”
“We need to be patient, it will take time to vaccinate,” he told an online briefing. “We have learned harsh lessons — opening and closing, and reopening (societies) rapidly is a poor strategy” in seeking to curb coronavirus contagion, he said.
“Transmission rates across Europe are still very high, impacting health systems and straining services, making it too early to ease up,” Kluge said. “Pushing transmission down requires a sustained, consistent effort. Bear in mind that just over 3 percent of people in the region have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection. Areas hit badly once can be hit again.”
Kluge said a total of 35 countries in Europe had launched vaccination programs with 25 million does administered so far.
“These vaccines have shown the efficacy and safety we all hoped they would...This monumental undertaking will release pressure on our health systems and undoubtedly save lives.”
He said continued high rates of transmission and emerging variants of the virus made it urgent to vaccinate priority groups, but said the rate of vaccine production and distribution was not yet meeting expectations.
“This paradox, where communities sense an end is in sight with the vaccine but, at the same time, are called to adhere to restrictive measures in the face of a new threat, is causing tension, angst, fatigue, and confusion. This is completely understandable in these circumstances.”