New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed 'pain' at the loss of lives due to a fire at a Bharuch hospital in Gujarat.
"Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Bharuch. Condolences to the bereaved families,"he tweeted.
Reports said at least 18 coronavirus patients died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Bharuch in the early hours on May 1.
Some patients reportedly were charred to death while on stretchers and their beds.
There were around 50 other patients at the four- storeyed Welfare Hospital when the fire broke out in the COVID-19 ward at around 1 am.
They were rescued by locals and firefighters, an official said.
The 12 patients in the COVID-19 ward died due to the fire and resultant smoke.
"The fire was so intense that the ICU ward was almost burnt to the ground," an eyewitness said.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, officials said.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh for the families of 18 people, who were killed in the mishap. Rupani also extended his condolences to the patients, doctors and the hospital staff who lost their lives in the fire.
Incidentally, today is also Statehood days for Gujarat and Maharashtra.
"Both states are home to outstanding people, who have made landmark contributions to national growth. May these states fight COVID-19 successfully and may the people of these states be blessed with good health," the Prime Minister wrote in another tweet.
At the national level, the total number of cases stands at 19,164,969 and the death toll from the virus has shot up to 211,835.
India on Saturday/May 1 reported a staggeringly high 401,993 cases. India thus became the first country in the world to log 400,000 infections in a single day.
The number of fatalities in India has increased to 3,498 new deaths in last 24 hours.