Andhra Pradesh

Families of hospital fire victims demand justice

Fire and Police Departments personnel inspecting the Hotel Swarna Palace-cum-COVID care centre in Vijayawada.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

Family members of patients who died in a fire at a COVID Care Centre operated by Ramesh Hospitals on August 9, demanded action against the owners of the hospital and Hotel Swarna Palace for their negligence.

The relatives also demanded to know why no action has been taken against those responsible, even 30 days after the incident.

Speaking to The Hindu on Tuesday, family members of some victims said: “We paid a huge amount but lost our family members. Many persons suffered injuries in the fire tragedy. But no action has been taken so far. The lack of action against the accused is raising doubts,” they said.

Ten patients were killed and 21 persons suffered injuries in the fire mishap that occurred in the hotel-turned-COVID care centre located in Eluru, in the early hours of August 9.

The victims’ family members demanded that the government release a white paper on the action taken against the officials and the accused who are responsible for the fire mishap.

“The incident clearly indicates that there is corruption in the system. As the accused have political clout and money, they are using the system to their benefit and are evading arrests. Why did the district administration give permission to Ramesh Cardiac and Multispeciality Hospital to run a COVID Care Centre when there were no facilities and security at Hotel Swarna Palace,” asked the family member of a deceased person from Krishna district.

“If either the hotel and hospital managements nor the officials are responsible for the fire mishap, then who is?” questioned another family member preferring to remain unnamed.

The victims’ family members blamed officials for letting those responsible go scot-free, and demanded their arrests immediately.

“The Revenue, Medical and Health, A.P. State Disaster Response and Fire Services, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and other officials observed violations and negligence at the private COVID care centre. Then why is there still no action against the violators, even after a month of the incident?” the family members questioned.

“The government booked criminal cases against doctors, seized their hospitals and arrested them in other similar incidents that occurred in other districts. But why has no action been taken in this case? The incident shows the poor security, facilities and violation of norms in hospitals and hotels in the State,” the victims’ family members said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 8:49:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/families-of-hospital-fire-victims-demand-justice/article32556132.ece

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