At least 27 people have been killed and dozens more injured after a blaze broke out in a COVID ward of a Baghdad hospital. Iraq's Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Khademi has called for an investigation into the cause of the blaze and declared three days of national mourning.
The stuff of nightmares: A COVID ward overrun with smoke and flames. Patients who were already struggling to breathe, now on the verge of suffocating.
Rescuers say dozens died as a result of the fire, and are still searching the scene of this Baghdad hospital.
A video posted on social media claims to show the moment an oxygen tank exploded, and started the fire.
In just a matter of minutes, the situation is out of control.
The head of the civil defense unit says ninety people were rescued from the hospital. But the event has fueled anger about a healthcare system worn down by decades of neglect, and left unable to cope with the pandemic. Officials say the hospital had no fire protection system and that false ceilings helped spread the blaze. People are now demanding the health minister be sacked.
On Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in Iraq surpassed one million, the highest of any Arab state. The blaze in Baghdad marks another grim development in Iraq's battle against COVID.
Germany is switching gears in the fight against the pandemic, after months of struggling to contain a severe third wave of the virus. Tighter national restrictions were put in place this weekend, including a controversial overnight curfew. Our reporter Kate Brady was out in the capital, Berlin.
Saturday night in Berlin's Friedrichshain district: With just minutes to go before the new curfew kicks in at 10pm. Time to grab a quick beer or some late night food for the road. Right on cue as the clock strikes 10, many local shops begin to roll down their shutters. Minutes later, police arrive to clear stragglers from the square.
According to federal rules, repeated violations of the measures risk a hefty fine of up to €25,000 euros.
For most tonight though, it's just a polite request to head home. The restrictions on movement during late hours have been met with mixed responses. By almost midnight, the streets have largely cleared.
Travel by public transport or by car is only permitted for specific exceptions, including work and emergencies. Between 10pm and midnight, walks and runs are also still allowed.
Now the question remains: exactly how long can the curfew be allowed to stay in place? -- with several constitutional complaints from around the country already threatening to already bring the measure to an end. If Germany's Constitutional Court does indeed rule the curfew is unlawful, it will be a huge blow not least of all for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who for months has been pushing for a stricter and more uniform response to the pandemic.
For now though, there will be many a quieter night in Berlin and beyond.
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