CAIRO (AP) — An intensive care unit at an Egyptian hospital caught fire on Saturday, killing seven coronavirus patients, officials said.
Local police said the blaze erupted at a private hospital in Obour, an outlying district of the greater Cairo area.
The fire injured at least five others. The injured and other patients were evacuated to nearby hospitals, the police said.
Firefighters were able to put out the blaze, the cause of which police and prosecutors are investigating.
The state-run al-Ahram daily reported that an initial investigation blamed an electric short-circuit for the fire.
A similar blaze erupted at the coronavirus ward of a private hospital in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in June, leaving seven patients dead and one injured. There was another fire in May in a coronavirus isolation center in Cairo that didn’t cause any casualties.
Egypt has seen a surge in the confirmed cases of the virus, forcing the government to reopen most of its hospitals designated to treat and isolate COVID-19 patients after the first wave of the pandemic subsided.
The Health Ministry reported its highest daily number of confirmed cases on Friday at 1,113, along with 49 deaths.
The new numbers have brought the county’s official tally to more than 130,126 cases, including at least 7,309 deaths.
However, the actual numbers of cases in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous county with over 100 million people, are thought to be far higher, in part due to limited testing.
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