NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked states and Union Territories to carry out a detailed fire safety review of hospitals and nursing homes to prevent fire incidents in view of recent such cases in some hospitals across the country. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed states to take necessary remedial action on a priority basis in case any deficiencies are found in hospitals and all other health facilities.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to chief secretaries and UT administrators asking them to ensure fire safety measures, particularly given the summer season. Given the recent fire incidents at hospitals and particularly in view of the impending summer, it needs to be highlighted that short-circuiting takes place, leading to fire incidents and loss of life and infrastructure, either because of high temperature, lack of maintenance or high load on internal wirings within the facilities, the Home Secretary said.
According to the communication, care should be taken to put in place a plan of action to ensure there is no fire incident in any health facility, particularly Covid-19 dedicated facilities, both in the government and the private sector. The senior bureaucrat asked authorities in states and UTs to conduct a detailed review with officials from the health, power and fire departments, and prepare a detailed plan of action to ensure that fire safety measures are in place in all hospitals and health facilities.
He also drew attention to the recently issued advisory of the director general (fire services, civil defence and home guards), the MHA on fire safety in hospitals and nursing homes. Bhalla said a large number of Covid-19 cases are under treatment in Covid-dedicated health facilities across the country. “In most of the cases, oxygen supported beds, ICU beds, and ventilators are ICU, and, therefore, it is important to ensure that there is an uninterrupted power supply on a regular 24×7 basis, in all the hospitals and medical facilities,” it said.