Three days of mourning after the announcement of the fire, which is believed to have started when an oxygen pump exploded.
At least 27 people have been killed and 46 injured in a fire that broke out on Sunday in a coronavirus emergency room in Baghdad, while Iraq faces more COVID-19 cases.
The fire at Ibn Khatib hospital in the Iraqi capital was caused by an accident that caused an oxygen tank to explode, according to medical sources cited by Reuters and AFP.
Malawi spread rapidly, according to state security officials, “the hospital was unsafe and false ceilings caused the flames to spread to flammable materials.”
Major General Kadhim Bohanm, head of the Iraqi security force, said that 90 of the 120 patients and relatives had been rescued, the INA news agency quoted him as saying.
The fire was extinguished, he added.
The health care system in Iraq, which has already been plagued by sanctions, war and neglect for years, has been extensively expanded due to the coronavirus problem.
The number of people infected with COVID-19 in Iraq is 102,528 plus 15,217 deaths, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday.
There were 30 patients and several relatives in the intensive care unit – reserved for the biggest cases of COVID headquarters – at the time the fire broke out.
“Most of the victims died because they had to be evacuated, while others were choked with smoke,” he said.
The health ministry, which did not comment until a few hours after the fire, said it had “saved 200 patients”, and promised more people dead and injured.
The blaze has sparked outrage on social media and the Prime Minister has asked to investigate the cause of the blaze. A hashtag seeking the removal of the health minister was taking place on Twitter.
In a statement, the state human rights committee said the case was “a case of patients who were tired of Covid-19 who had put their lives in the hands of the medical ministry and its agencies and instead of being helped, they were destroyed by fire”.
The commission called on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi to remove Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi for “judging”.
Kadhemi responded by calling for “a thorough investigation by the ministry’s administrators” and said “a hospital supervisor, a security chief and a professional development team should be sent to investigators to prevent them from being released until those with the problem have brought justice.”
He also announced three days of mourning.