Home secretary writes to states, UTs over fire incidents in hospitals, nursing homes
Two days after six persons died in a hospital fire in Rajkot, Gujarat, Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has written to all the states and Union Territories to immediately inspect and check the hospitals and nursing homes from the point of view of fire protection and means of escape to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
The home secretary has also asked the states/UTs to submit the action taken in this regard with the ministry of home affairs. “I would like to draw your kind attention towards occurrence of various fire incidents in hospitals/nursing homes in recent past. Non-adherence of fire safety measures by authorities in their respective jurisdiction is a matter of concern,” Bhalla said in his letter on Monday.
He said that director general, fire services, has been issuing necessary advisories at regular intervals to states/UTs so that suitable directions may be issued to ensure compliance of fire safety guidelines as well as various codes and standards and to ensure that proper fire safety measures are in place in all buildings, including hospitals and nursing homes.
“In addition, guidelines have been issued by NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) for hospital safety, laying down the provisions to establish the minimum requirements for a reasonable degree of safety from fire emergency in hospitals,” Bhalla’s letter, reviewed by HT, stated.
“Recently, six precious lives of Covid-19 patients have been lost in an incident in ICU ward of a hospital in Rajkot and eight lives were lost in Ahmedabad. At such a crucial time, when the country is fighting against Covid-19 pandemic, utmost precaution needs to be taken to avoid such incidents in future,” he added.
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