Eleven people have died in a huge fire that broke out at a hotel which was being used as a COVID-19 facility in Andhra Pradesh's Vijaywada early this morning.
There were 30 Covid patients and 10 staff members at the hotel at the time of the accident.
The fire broke out at 5:15 am, officials said, adding that it was brought under control within 30 minutes.
Twenty people have been rescued from the hotel so far, police said, adding that several others are feared trapped inside the building.
"The incident took place around 5 am. Around 22 patients are being treated in hospital. We are evacuating the entire building. The reason of fire appears to be a short circuit, as per the preliminary report, but we will have to ascertain," said Krishna District Collector Mohammad Imtiaz.
Hotel Swarna Palace was being used by Ramesh hospitals on lease to treat Covid patients.
"15-20 people have been injured in the incident. They have been rushed to hospital. 2-3 of them are critical," a senior police officer told NDTV.
Andhra Pradesh reported 10,080 fresh infections or the fourth straight day on Saturday, taking the overall tally to 2,17,040 while a single day high of 97 fatalities were recorded.
The southern state has 85,486 active cases after 1,29,615 coronavirus positive persons got cured, including 9,151 in the last 24 hours, and 1,939 succumbed, according state health officials.
Earlier this month, eight coronavirus patients died in a huge fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in Gujarat's Ahmedabad.
"A staffer whose PPE caught fire ran out of the ward to douse it but the fire spread rapidly to the whole ward," a fire officer was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
About 45 patients were admitted to the 50-bed hospital at the time of accident.