At least seven people were killed and 10 others injured when a fire broke out at a hotel, which was being used as a make-shift facility for Covid-19 patients in Vijaywada town of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh earlier today, said officials.
Vijayawada Police Commissioner B Srinivasulu said 20 patients have been shifted to various other hospitals. There were 30 patients undergoing treatment at the facility and 10 hospital staff in the hotel when the fire erupted there.
The flames were brought under control within half an hour, our New Delhi correspondent reports.
Twenty people have been rescued from the hotel so far, police said.
"The incident took place around 5:00am. Around 22 patients were being treated in hospital. The reason of fire appears to be a short circuit, as per the preliminary report, but we will have to ascertain," said Krishna district Collector Mohammad Imtiaz.
The hotel was hired by a private hospital and used as a centre for treating Covid-19 afflicted people.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the worst-hit states having reported 10,080 fresh infections for the fourth straight day yesterday, taking the overall tally of cases to 2,17,040 while a single-day high of 97 fatalities were recorded.
Eight coronavirus patients died in a fire in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Gujarat state's biggest city Ahmedabad a few days ago.