Lahore hospital
Hospital in Lahore catches fire, patients wait outside Image Credit: Twitter

A fire erupted in the surgical emergency ward of Services Hospital in Lahore on Saturday, June 13, and a video of patients waiting on hospital beds outside the facility has caused confusion on social media.

After the clip was posted online, people believed that the patients were waiting outside due to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients and insufficient space in hospitals. It was soon debunked.

Twitter user and journalist Syed Raza Mehdi, @SyedRezaMehdi, shared the clip of the ailing patients and wrote: “Public Service Message: Please stay home stay safe everyone!”

Several other posts claimed that the clip was due to the high number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan. But there were those who clarified the matter.

Twitter user @MashwaniAzhar shared screenshots and wrote: “A short circuit in hospital operation theatre caused fire and these patients were rescued from fire! They are not COVID-19 patients. How these so-called celebrities spread disinformation and propaganda without any verification is mindboggling. Check their tweets and actual story.”

One of the celebrities, @MashwaniAzhar referred to, was Pakistani actor Fakhr-e-Alam, @falamb3. He deleted his previous post and wrote in a later tweet: “I am told this happened because there was a fire inside the hospital. Hope everyone is safe. But everyone in and around any hospital must be more careful in their physical contact & maintain social distance. Our hospitals are getting fuller let’s all be responsible. Stay Safe.”

One dies due to lack of oxygen

It was reported that around 40 patients were being treated in the ward and all of them were evacuated.

The authorities said that the cause of the fire has not been declared yet but it is speculated that it broke out because of a short circuit. According to Pakistani media, no injuries or deaths were reported due to the fire.

However, a 50-year-old patient, identified as Shamim, lost her life due to lack of oxygen supply during the process of shifting, according to a report by Pakistani newspaper The Nation.

“We kept pleading to the administration to provide oxygen to our patient, but they did not pay heed to our pleas and the patient expired in the process,” Iqbal Bhatti, brother of the deceased patient, was quoted as saying.