Fire in Russian hospital reportedly kills 5 coronavirus patients

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Workers of the St Petersburg Fire Service have put out a fire at St George’s Municipal Hospital, five patients dead on ventilator support in the intensive care unit. The hospital was one of the first in St Petersburg to be re-purposed as a medical center to treat infectious diseases like pneumonia, including that caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Emercom

A fire that broke out in an intensive care ward in a hospital in St. Petersburg in Russia has killed five people with Covid-19, according to Russian media reports.

The fire may have been caused due to one of the ventilation machines short-circuiting, Russian news agency Tass reported Tuesday, citing a source in the emergency services.

“Five patients put on artificial ventilation machines were killed in the fire,” the source said.

The press service of The Ministry of Emergency Situations informed Tass that the fire at St. George Hospital in Russia’s second-largest city had been contained and that there had been casualties, but did not provide the exact number of people killed.

“150 people have been evacuated,” the press service told the state news agency.

The news agency noted that since mid-March, St. George Hospital in St. Petersburg has been re-equipped to treat patients diagnosed with Covid-19.

News agency RIA Novosti also reported the fire and deaths, citing a spokesman for the emergency services. It said the cause of the incident could be a malfunction of electrical equipment, including a ventilator. The English-language newspaper, The Moscow Times, cited news agency Interfax quoting a source saying the fire had been caused by an “overload” with ventilators being “pushed to their limit.”

The news comes as Russia’s coronavirus outbreak increases rapidly, putting the country’s health-care system under pressure.

Russia now has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the U.S., with 232,243 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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