In yet another tragic incident 14 seriously ill COVID-19 patients died of suffocation caused by a fire at Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Vasai-Virar in Palghar district about 60 km from Mumbai at around 3:00 AM on Friday (April 23).
There were in all 18 patients and four nurses when the fire broke out in the Intensive Care Units situated at the second floor of this private health-hub. Four of the nurses and four patients managed to come out but the rest 14 were already in such a critical condition that they could not even move out from their bed.
The personnel of Fire Brigade department rushed to the spot yet they could not rescue them as the blaze spread very fast.
According to the Fire Brigade sources the fire might have been caused by a blast in the air-conditioner in the ICUs. Other patients from the hospital have been moved out to different hospitals.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered a high-level inquiry into the tragedy and payment of Rs 5 lakh compensation to the bereaved families.
Incidentally this mishap took place just two days after 24 patients died at Dr Zakir Husain Hospital in Nashik on Wednesday following the suspension of oxygen for half an hour. This move was taken after a leak in the oxygen tank.
The latest accident took place when India reported over 3.33 lakh corona positive cases in the last 24 hours, thus surpassing the last day world record of 3.14 lakh. In all 2,263 people died during this period. While the number of cases continue to rise the country has not overcome the acute crisis of oxygen. The situation continues to be grim in Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.