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State to govt-run hospitals: Repair lapses found in fire safety audits

The Maharashtra government has directed all the government-run hospitals to do away with the lapses found in the fire safety audits conducted by them. It has issued a 12-point directive for these hospitals and said that the directives must be followed without any negligence and assigned the responsibility for their strict compliance on the hospital administration.

A circular to this effect was issued by the state health department on Monday.

“Refill fire extinguishers before expiry and install them at places where they are easily available. The hospitals are required to carry out mock drills every three months for which participation of fire brigade officials and disaster management is mandatory. Prohibit the use of lifts in case of a fire and stick notices in this regard in bold in the area close to the lift. Keep exits of each and every ward clear and ensure they are free from obstacles,” states the circular.

“Ensure emergency exit facility is available at all the important places of the hospital. They should remain open and information about them should be installed in bold; complete the process of installing sprinklers, fire alarm and smoke detector as early as possible. Doctors and nurses should be available all the time in ICUs and wards where patients are shifted after surgeries. Also, ensure that patients, who are not in a position to move on their own, are not neglected,” it adds.

The move is being taken in a bid to avoid any fire mishaps in the future and assumes significance as the fires in hospitals at Bhandup, Bhandara, Nagpur and Ahmednagar that led to the loss of several lives last year.

Ten infants died after fire broke out at Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of Bhandara district hospital on January 9, 2021. Nine Covid-19 patients were killed after a massive fire broke out at Sunrise Hospital, located inside the Dreams Mall in Bhandup on March 25 and four patients died after a massive fire broke out at the Well Treat Hospital in Nagpur on April 10. The hospital was treating Covid-19 patients. Around 11 Covid-19 patients admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the civil hospital in Ahmednagar district died in a fire on November 7, 2021. Hindustan Times

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