Earlier in the day, it was reported how at least 13 patients died at Vijay Vallabh Covid Care hospital in Virar West, Mumbai after a massive fire broke out in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the wee hours of April 23 (Friday). The COVID-19 patients died after inhaling toxic fumes.
‘No National news’: Maharashtra Health Minister on Virar tragedy
Despite the incident that engulfed more than a dozen lives, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope was heard downplaying the tragic episode by saying that it is “no national news”.
#WATCH Virar fire incident, not national news…says Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2021
13 people have lost their lives in a fire incident at Vijay Vallabh COVID care hospital in Maharashtra’s Virar pic.twitter.com/hNZEHIbnLp
Speaking to the media Tope said, “This is no national news. The State govt will provide help to the family of the deceased”. We would provide ex gratia as we provided to kin of deceased in Nasik oxygen leak case, said the State Health Minister.
The Uddhav Thackeray cabinet minister probably tried to insinuate that the tragedy was not big enough to be called national news.
Maharashtra CM’s cover-up during Mumbai’s Bhandup mall’s tragedy
It becomes imperative to note here, that during the last month Mumbai’s Bhandup mall’s tragedy, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray had also tried to cover up the negligence of the state authorities by claiming that “most people” died of COVID-19, not the fire.
BJP leader asks for a probe of safety/fire system in Virar hospital
Meanwhile, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has demanded that authorities should check if there was a fire safety audit of the Vijay Vallabh Covid Care hospital in Virar West, Mumbai, where the incident of fire occurred on Friday.
According to reports, after 3 AM, the fire started in the air conditioning unit of the hospital’s ICU, where, as many as 17 patients were being treated for the infection. After the fire broke, the Vasai Virar Corporation fire brigade reached the spot and doused the fire. However, until then, 13 people have lost their lives to the fire.