Nine COVID-19 patients die in Turkey hospital fire

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Nine COVID-19 patients died Saturday in a fire in an intensive care unit at a hospital in southern Turkey, officials said.

An oxygen cylinder exploded in the ICU unit at Sanko University Hospital in Gaziantep, killing nine patients aged between 56 and 85. The fire was put out quickly and 10 other patients survived, the Associated Press reported.

Government figures show that Turkey ICU units currently have a 74 percent bed occupancy rate due to the pandemic, but medical officials say the number is higher and that Turkish hospitals are crowded with coronavirus patients.

As of Friday, Turkey reported 26,410 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total since March to 1.98 million.

Turkey hit a record daily high of 246 COVID-19-related deaths reported Friday for an overall reported coronavirus death toll of 17,610.

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