In the aftermath of the fire in a COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad that claimed eight lives last week, the West Bengal government has begun fire safety audits of COVID treatment centres and hospitals in the state, reported The Indian Express.
On Wednesday, August 12, Sujit Bose, State Fire Minister said he ordered an immediate fire-safety audit after receiving a letter from Swastha Bhavan (Department of Health) on Sunday. He added that he has already spoken to the officials of the department and all actions have been initiated to ensure fire safety in COVID hospitals and centres.
The state has 83 hospitals dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19, of which 28 are government hospitals and 55 are private hospitals. While there are 582 government quarantine centres, there are 109 safe homes for patients with mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. Te fire audit will be covering all these centres.
"Most of them are already equipped with machinery to fight any fire-related incident. However, a proper fire audit, especially of safe homes, can reduce the chances of risk to lives if such incidents occur," an official told the media.
Meanwhile, according to officials, the hospital administrations have been informed about the audit and a report is being prepared, which will be submitted. IF any gaps are found, remedial actions will be taken.
"We have installed all necessary gadgets to extinguish fire," said a private hospital employee. They added that they are waiting to see if the fire authorities provide any steps to make improvements.
Eight patients who were being treated at the ICU ward of the COVID-19 designated Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad's Navrangpura area died in the raging fire that broke out at the hospital early on August 6. On Tuesday, police filed an FIR and booked Bharat Mahant, trustee of the hospital, for "culpable homicide".