ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has extended condolences to the government and people of Iraq after a fire at a coronavirus hospital in Baghdad killed dozens of people on Saturday.
The fire that ripped through an intensive care ward of the Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in the Iraqi capital was reportedly caused by an explosion of an oxygen tank. Footage shared on social media showed firefighters trying to extinguish the flames as patients and their relatives tried to flee the building.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry says 82 people were killed and 110 injured in the fire.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Govt. & brotherly people of #Iraq on the loss of precious lives in the tragic incident of Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital, #Baghdad. Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims & their families,” Pakistan’s foreign office wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday.
Last month, Pakistan sent three airplanes with coronavirus relief aid for Iraq.
Iraq’s health system is under strain of the coronavirus pandemic, but it was already reeling from decades of underfunding before the outbreak began.
On Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in Iraq crossed 1 one million, the highest of any Arab state.