At least seven coronavirus patients have died on Monday after fire broke out in an intensive care unit at an Egyptian hospital. according to the country’s public prosecutor.
Governor Mohamed el-Sharif said that the blaze erupted in the coronavirus ward of a private hospital in Alexandria, along Egypt’s north coast. Six men and one woman were killed.
The Department of Civil Protection blamed an electric short-circuit for the fire.
Police are still investigating the matter but preliminary reports indicate the fire started in the room’s air-conditioner, according to a statement from public prosecutors.
Badrawy Hospital said in a statement, “In just seconds, there was a massive fire and none of the workers were able to control the situation because of the rapid spread”.
One patient was injured in the blaze and the rest were evacuated, the prosecutors added.
Firefighters doused the blackened remains of ventilators, beds and other medical supplies in the coronavirus ward. The fire did not spread to other parts of the hospital.
Last month, A fire broke out at a coronavirus isolation centre in the capital, Cairo, without causing casualties.
The accidents highlight the risks in Egypt’s struggle to fight the virus, which has overwhelmed hospitals in recent weeks.
On Saturday, the country has lifted a variety of coronavirus restrictions like reopening cafes, gyms and clubs, even as its case count soars.
The Egyptian Health Ministry has reported 1,566 infections, including 83 deaths on Monday, bringing the total to 66,754 and 2,872 fatalities — the highest death toll in the region.
(With inputs from agency)