Vijayawada: Eight out of the 10 victims killed in the fire mishap at a COVID-19 care centre in Vijayawada on 9 August tested negative for the virus. Only two of the victims tested positive for COVID-19.
A fire broke out at Dr. Ramesh Hospitals’ COVID care centre in Swarna Palace Hotel on Eluru Road in Vijayawada in the early hours of Sunday killing 10 people.
A senior official of the Krishna district administration said they conducted rapid antigen test on the 10 victims as per the COVID-19 protocol and eight of them tested negative.
Among the dead was a 48-year-old pastor, Sabbili Ratna Abraham, from the district’s Jaggayyapeta area and his wife Raja Kumari who were undergoing treatment at the centre for the past few days. Ratna Abraham had tested negative and was discharged on Saturday. However, he was staying at the COVID care centre with his wife who was undergoing treatment there. Abraham died in Sunday’s fire, officials of the district administration said. They further said some of the victims had been undergoing treatment for the past few days and hence had tested negative for the virus.
Meanwhile, preliminary investigation revealed that the hospital was violating COVID-19 norms and charging each patient anything between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 30,000 per day. Hospitals are supposed to collect over Rs. 3,800 per day from a patient and some extra for medicines, according to the norms.
The victims have been identified as K. Suvarnalatha (42), D. Siva Brahmaiah (59), P. Poornachandra Rao (80), S. Babu Rao (80), M. Gopi (54), G. Venkata Lakshmi (52), Venkata Narasimha Pawan , S. Ratna Abraham and his wife Raja Kumari, and M. Raghu.