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Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says Virar ICU blaze 'not national news'; later clarifies

Sanjay Jog | Updated on: Friday, April 23, 2021, 11:48 PM IST

Maharashtra, April 23 (ANI): 13 people have died after a fire broke out inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Vijay Vallabh COVID care hospital in Mumbai in the wee hours of Friday.  | (ANI Photo)
Maharashtra, April 23 (ANI): 13 people have died after a fire broke out inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Vijay Vallabh COVID care hospital in Mumbai in the wee hours of Friday. | (ANI Photo)
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Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Friday unwittingly stoked a controversy after he said the fire tragedy at Virar, which killed 14 Covid-19 patients, is not ‘national news.’

Tope later explained that his remark was made in a certain context.

"In today's meeting with the Prime Minister, we will talk about oxygen, Remdesivir, and supply of vaccines to the State and also the Virar fire incident, though it is not national news,'' Tope had said when asked if the hospital deaths will be taken up at the video conference chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP slammed Tope who was also trolled on social media. Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Devendra Fadnavis said that it was insensitive of the minister to downplay the disaster.

“I don’t know in what sense he spoke about it. At these times we should show compassion and be sensitive,” he added.

Tope denied BJP’s charge ‘’A high-level probe will take place and no one will be spared. I sincerely share the grief of the families of the deceased.’’ He added that he should be judged by his track record.

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Published on: Friday, April 23, 2021, 11:48 PM IST