The devastating fire at the Coronabirus hospital in Baghdad has killed at least 80 people and injured more than 100, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said it has caused allegations of corruption and neglect in the health ministry as it erupts in the pandemic.
An oxygen bomb that exploded on Saturday night exploded and ripped Ibn al-Khatib Hospital out within minutes, the Associated Press reported. A doctor who saw the scene told the news agency that the inflation resembled “volcanic fires”.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi he has called for an end to the investigation into the incident in five days and has suspended the health minister, the governor of Baghdad and the district health director of Al Rusafa. He pledged to hold those responsible for “irresponsibility” accountable.
Despite being Opec’s second-largest oil producer, Iraq is hampered by abandoned infrastructure, the legacy of sanctions against dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1990s and the chaos of the years following his rule.
The hospital was dedicated to coronavirus patients. Iraq, like many countries in the region, has struggled to control the pandemic. According to health ministry data, the disease has killed more than 15,000 Iraqis since the pandemic began.
Ali al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi Higher Human Rights Commission, which monitors civilian deaths, said 28 people in hospitals were in the ventilators. “Corruption and internal problems [the health] the ministry is very deep, “he told Bayatik FT. He added that successive job failures and neglect have been forgotten by successive ministers and called on Kadhimi to expand the investigation and” open the portfolio in full detail. “
General Khaled al-Muhanna, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said on Sunday that the death toll from hospital fires had reached 82 and that 110 people had been injured. “As a result of the fires, some victims were killed and others were thrown from a high place,” he added in comments in the official media.
“90% of government agencies have not followed civil protection procedures and targeted measures [safeguarding] citizen[s]”, Said Muhanna.
Iraqi protesters have long denounced corruption and bad governance. The Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment is controlled by a political party loyal to Muqtadr al-Sadr, a brilliant clergyman and militia leader turned politician. Iraq will hold elections in the fall.
The country’s accident record underscores the lack of public responsibility. Nearly 100 people were killed last year when a ferry in the northern city of Mosul sank.