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MHA writes to States on fire safety in hospitals

Firefighters inside the ICU of a COVID-19 hospital in Rajkot last week. Short-circuit is suspected to be the cause.  

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to all the States and Union Territories to direct nursing homes and hospitals to recheck fire protection system on their premises to avoid a repeat of incidents that took place in Rajkot and Ahmedabad.

Recently, six patients were killed in a fire in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital in Rajkot. Before this, in a similar incident in Ahmedabad, eight lives were lost.

Mr. Bhalla's letter said, “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”.

“I would urge you to ensure compliance of above advisory and direct all concerned to immediately re-inspect/re-check all hospitals/nursing homes from the point of view of fire protection and means of escape to prevent recurrence of such fire incidences in future. Action taken report may kindly be shared with this ministry at the earliest”, he said

“Non-adherence of fire safety measures by authorities in their respective jurisdiction is a matter of concern” the letter noted.

Directorate General of Fire Services in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had been issuing advisories at regular intervals to the States, it said, adding that guidelines by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on hospital safety, laying down the provisions to establish the minimum requirements for a reasonable degree of safety from fire emergencies in hospitals, had also been shared with the States.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 12:02:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mha-writes-to-states-on-fire-safety-in-hospitals/article33211519.ece

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