A fire at a hospital in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has killed at least 27 people. Novel coronavirus patients were being treated at the hospital. At least 46 people were injured in the blaze at Ibn Khatib Hospital in Baghdad on Saturday night. The news agency Reuters reported this information.
The fire was reportedly triggered by an oxygen tank explosion.
A video released on social media shows firefighters struggling to put out the blaze. Many are leaving the hospital.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi called the incident a “tragic accident.” He ordered an investigation to find out the cause of the accident.
“The fire broke out in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU),” Maj. Gen. Khadim Bohan, the head of Iraq’s civil defense, told state media. The ICU was used to treat the lungs. So far, 90 out of 120 patients have been rescued.
A hospital source told AFP that there were about 30 patients at the intensive care unit. The unit was reserved for the critically ill Covid-19. The injured and other patients who were not injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals by ambulance.
The Iraqi Civil Defense Department said the fire was brought under control by Sunday morning.
Hospitals in Iraq are struggling to cope with the coronavirus epidemic. This has been due to the weakening of the health system due to years of war, neglect and corruption.
The number of covid infections in Iraq has been on the rise since last February, exceeding one million this week. The health ministry said 1,025,288 people had been infected and 15,217 had died since the outbreak began.
The country launched a vaccination program last month and has already vaccinated 650,000 doses. Most of these are derived from the global vaccination program Kovacs.