Fire raze India hospital kills 18 virus patients

A fire in a COVID-19 hospital ward in western India killed 18 patients early Saturday.

India on Saturday set yet another daily global record with 401,993 new cases, taking its tally to more than 19.1 million. 

Another 3,523 people died in the past 24 hours, raising the overall fatalities to 211,853, according to the Health Ministry. 

Experts believe both figures are an undercount. The fire broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor and was extinguished within an hour, police said.

The cause is being investigated. Thirty-one other patients at the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat state, were rescued by hospital workers and firefighters and their condition was stable, said police officer B.M Parmar. 

Eighteen others died in the blaze and smoke before rescuers could reach them, Parmar said.

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