‘Not a national news’: Maharashtra Health Minister on death of 13 COVID patients in Virar hospital fire



MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said that the fire incident at Vijay Vallabh COVID care hospital in the Virar area of Maharashtra’s Palghar district in which 13 patients loss their lives is ‘not national news’.

“In today’s meeting with the PM, we will talk about Oxygen, Remdesivir, an adequate quantity of vaccines for the State…also the Virar fire incident, it is not national news. State govt will provide financial assistance to those affected,” Rajesh Tope said while talking to the media.

“The state government will provide financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh and the Mahanagar Palika will also provide Rs 5 lakhs,” the minister said.

Tope further said that there will a detailed investigation into the matter and the culprits will be punished.

“This incident is very unfortunate. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones,” Tope added.

At least 13 patients died on Friday after a fire broke out at an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the COVID hospital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on the loss of lives in the fire incident at a COVID-19 hospital in the Virar area of Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

The Prime Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for kin of the deceased in the incident.

“The fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Virar is tragic. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

“PM Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Virar, Maharashtra. Rs 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

The incident took place around 3:30 am on the second floor of the facility, the Corona Control Room, Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation informed. Three fire tenders of the Virar Fire Brigade reached the spot to douse the fire. It was extinguished by 5:20 am.

Other COVID patients have been shifted to other hospitals.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered an inquiry into the fire incident and also directed the administration to immediately inquire whether the fire safety measures at the hospital were adequate or not.

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