t least 23 people have died in a fire at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in Iraq.

Dozens of others were wounded in the blaze, which erupted at the Ibn Khatib hospital in the capital, Baghdad on Saturday night.

According to reports, an oxygen tank exploded, sparking the inferno.

The head of Iraq’s Civil Defence, Major General Kadhim Bohan, told state media the fire broke out in the hospital’s intensive-care unit, which included about “30 patients” a source told AFP.

So far, the emergency crew saved 90 out of 120 patients and relatives, state news agency INA quoted him as saying.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called for an investigation into the causes of what he called a “tragic accident”.

Live updates


Western Australia halfway through snap Covid-19 lockdown with no new local cases

Western Australia reported no new local coronavirus cases on Sunday with more than 2 million people in the state halfway through a snap three-day lockdown.

The lockdown was ordered after a traveller likely became infected while in quarantine in a hotel and unknowingly passed it on to two other people in the community, according to authorities.

Testing of hundreds of people was still underway and state premier Premier Mark McGowan said it was too early to predict what the government would decide on Tuesday when the lockdown was due to end.


Russia reports 8,780 new COVID-19 cases, 332 deaths

Russia reported 8,780 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, including 2,526 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 4,762,569 since the start of the pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis centre said 332 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, taking the national death toll to 108,232.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and reported a toll of more than 225,000 from April 2020 to February. 


Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal extends lockdown by a week

Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday the city state would continue to be under a lockdown till May 3, as coronavirus cases rise steeply.

India’s number of cases surged by 349,691 in the past 24 hours, the fourth straight day of record peaks, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after running out of medical oxygen and beds.


PM Modi says India shaken by new coronavirus ‘storm’

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged all citizens to take Covid-19 vaccines and exercise caution, saying a “storm” of infections had shaken the country.

India has reported more than 300,000 new cases each day for the past four days, more than anywhere else in the world since the pandemic began, piling pressure on the public health system.

“Our spirits were high after successfully dealing with the first wave,” Modi said in a radio address. “But this storm has shaken the nation.”


Japan shuts stores, bars, theatres to slow Covid-19 surge

Japan has declared a 17-day restriction which saw department stores, bars and theatres close on Sunday as part of emergency measures to slow a surge in Covid-19 infections.

The restrictions were declared in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hyogo and Osaka, ahead of the “Golden Week” holidays, when Japanese usually travel extensively.


Bangkok imposes restrictions as cases rise

Thailand on Sunday reported 2,438 new cases and 11 deaths, as Bangkok braced for the closure of entertainment and sport venues.

The Thai capital has seen a rapid rise in infections since early April, and its governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, announced the two-week closures starting Monday.

This includes gyms, public parks, zoos, exhibition and meeting centres, nurseries and boxing stadiums.

Those not wearing masks in public will also face penalties.


Pakistan offers essential supplies to help India

Pakistan is offering to send essential medical supplies to its neighbour that’s in the grip of a devastating coronavirus surge that has depleted oxygen stocks and other hospital needs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that as a gesture of solidarity with the people of India, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, PPEs and related items.

It said authorities of both countries can work out modalities for a quick delivery of the items and can also explore possible ways of further cooperation to alleviate the challenges posed by the pandemic.


Welcome to the Standard Coronavirus Live Blog on Sunday, April 25.

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