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Egyptian hospital fire kills 7 coronavirus patients

A fire at a hospital in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria on Monday killed seven coronavirus patients, security and medical sources said.

Seven other people were injured in the blaze, believed to be caused by a malfunctioning air conditioner in an area designated for isolating COVID-19 patients, the sources said.

Firefighters stopped it spreading to other hospital buildings, and ambulances were dispatched to transfer patients to other medical facilities, the state-run newspaper Akhbar al-Youm reported.

The Egypt’s coronavirus victims died of suffocation from the fire and hospital staff were among those injured, according to local media, which said an investigation had been launched.

Egypt has so far registered 65,188 COVID-19 cases including 2,789 fatalities. Health facilities in the North African country, like elsewhere, have been strained by the mounting number of infections, which have exceeded 1,000 a day since late May.

Meanwhile, the leaders of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia agreed late Friday to return to talks aimed at reaching an accord over the filling of Ethiopia’s new hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, according to statements from the three nations.

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Early Saturday, Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s water and energy minister, confirmed that the countries had decided during an African Union summit to restart stalled negotiations and finalize an agreement over the contentious mega-project within two to three weeks, with support from the AU.

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