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Coronavirus patients die during an evacuation of a burning hospital

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil - Two coronavirus patients died when part of a hospital complex was evacuated due to a fire in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, local media reported.

Fire department units are on duty at a fire in the Bonsucesso hospital.
Fire department units are on duty at a fire in the Bonsucesso hospital.  © Fausto Maia/TheNEWS2 via ZUMA Wire/dpa

About 200 patients were evacuated from the Bonsucesso hospital, in the north of the Brazilian metropolis. They were moved to other buildings in the complex or other hospitals.

Two patients aged 42 and 83, who were already in serious condition, died as a result of  the evacuation, news portals G1 and UOL reported.

Firefighters gained control over the blaze, the cause of which was not immediately known. The fire reportedly broke out in the area of a nursing ward or the radiology department. According to the fire department, the clinic had already been notified several times about violations of fire safety regulations before the incident.

Brazil is one of the focal points of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patients and nursing staff leave the Bonsucesso hospital during a fire.
Patients and nursing staff leave the Bonsucesso hospital during a fire.  © Fausto Maia/TheNEWS2 via ZUMA Wire/dpa

The country is among the most affected by the crisis, with more than 5.4 million confirmed cases and around 150,000 deaths.

Worldwide, the total number of cases has risen to over 44 million. The pandemic has already caused 1,1 million deaths.

Brazil ranks third among the countries with the most cases, behind the USA with 8,8 million and India, which is also nearing the 8 million mark.

Cover photo: Fausto Maia/TheNEWS2 via ZUMA Wire/dpa

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