NEW DELHI, May 1 (AP) - At least 15 COVID-19 patients died when a fire broke out in a hospital in western India early on Saturday (May 1).
Fifty other patients at the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat state, were rescued by hospital workers and firefighters, said police officer Rajendrasinh Chudasama.
The fire broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor and was extinguished within an hour, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted fire officer Shailesh Sansiya as saying.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
On Apr 23, a fire in an intensive care unit killed 13 COVID-19 patients in the Virar area on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Coronavirus cases and deaths have surged in India as the world's second-most populous country has reported more than 300,000 new infections daily for nine consecutive days, hitting another global record of 386,452 on Friday.
Total deaths have surpassed 200,000 and cases are nearing 19 million - nearly 8 million since February alone - as virulent new strains have combined with "super-spreader" events such as political rallies and religious festivals.
The surge has led to a public health crisis and forced the government to seek oxygen, medicines and other essentials from abroad.