- There were 30 patients at the hotel facility at the time of the accident
- Two people had reportedly jumped off the building to save their lives
- Twenty people have been rescued from the hotel so far
Here are top 10 developments on this big story:
The reason of fire appears to be a short circuit, as per preliminary investigations.The fire -- which is reported to have started around 5 am -- is suspected to have started on ground floor and spread to first and second floor, officials said.
The incident led to panic among the patients admitted in the facility; two people had reportedly jumped off the building to save their lives, as per officials. The relative of one of them said the person had been shifted just two days ago from the hospital to the hotel facility for quarantine. He has reportedly suffered ankle fracture.
"Around 5.09 am control room received a call regarding the fire accident following which police and fire personnel immediately rushed to the spot. By 5.45 am fire was doused off," B Srinivasulu, Police Commissioner said. Around 30 COVID patients and 10 hospital staff were inside the hotel at the time of accident, he said.
"Around 22 patients are being treated in hospital. We are evacuating the entire building. The reason of fire appears to be a short circuit, as per the preliminary report, but we will have to ascertain this," said Krishna District Collector Mohammad Imtiaz.
Hotel Swarna Palace had been taken on lease by Ramesh hospitals to house Covid patients. The hotel had "violated" safety rules, according to Fire Safety Director Jairam Naik. It will face action as investigation has been initiated, he said.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has instructed officials to conduct enquiry over the matter. "Spoke to PM Modi regarding the incident in Vijayawada. We are ensuring that things are under control. An ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh has been announced to the families of the deceased. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured," he tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of national leaders condoled the deaths in the fire incident. PM Modi, in a tweet, said that he has assured all possible support to the chief minister.
This the second fire incident at a COVID-19 facility in the country this month. On Thursday, eight coronavirus patients died in a huge fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in Gujarat's Ahmedabad.
Andhra Pradesh reported 10,080 fresh infections or the fourth straight day on Saturday, taking the overall tally to 2,17,040. The southern state has 85,486 active cases after 1,29,615 coronavirus positive persons got cured, including 9,151 in the last 24 hours, and 1,939 Covid-19-related deaths, according state health officials.
This morning, India recorded single-day jump of 64,399 new coronavirus patients, taking the Covid tally past the 21 lakh-mark. A total of 43,379 Covid-linked deaths have been logged so far; 861 deaths have been registered since yesterday. With the latest surge, the country's coronavirus count has reached 21,53,011 cases, which includes 6,28,747 active cases.