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Deadly fire hits Egyptian hospital treating Covid-19 patients

At least seven people killed and several injured at a private hospital on the outskirts of Cairo
The hospital was evacuated and closed, while patients were transferred to a public hospital in Cairo (AFP)

A fire killed at least seven people and injured several others on Saturday at a private hospital that was treating coronavirus patients on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo, local sources and media said.

The fire broke out at about 9am (07:00 GMT) at Misr Al Amal Hospital in El Obour, some 30km northeast of central Cairo.

According to initial investigations, the fire was caused by an electrical fault, security and medical sources said.

The hospital was evacuated and closed, while patients were transferred to a public hospital in Cairo, the sources said.

Egypt has seen a sharp increase in the number of officially confirmed coronavirus cases over the past week, Reuters reported.

The health ministry recorded 1,189 new cases and 43 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 131,315 cases including 7,352 deaths.

Health officials say the real figures are likely to be much higher due to the low rate of public PCR testing and the exclusion of private test results from official figures.