At least nine hospitals tasked with treating COVID-19 patients in Uttar Pradesh's Agra have inadequate fire safety measures and are therefore incapable to fight a fire it it breaks out, authorities have found.
A survey conducted by India Today revealed that nine of the hospitals, that were selected by the administration as COVID centres, did not have any fire-fighting measures in place.
The survey found that two government hospitals - the Sarojini Naidu Medical College and the District Hospital - had expired hand-help fire extinguishers.
Recently, UP Additional Chief Secretary Avnish Awasthi had sought reports about the state of fire-fighting preparedness at all COVID hospitals in the state following the two incidents of massive fire at COVID hospitals in Ahmedabad and Vijaywada.
Chief Fire Officer Ranjan Sharma said that a survey was carried out as per the government orders and it was found that these hospitals were "highly careless with fire safety norms". The fire safety arrangements at the isolation ward of Nayati Hospital were not in place as per norms.
After the recent survey was conducted, Additional District Magistrate (Agra City) Dr Prabhakant Awasthi said that the hospitals which have lack in fire safety measures are being served notices.
"The nearby Prabha Hospital also didn't have the required fire fighting arrangments. Even at the SN Medical college, fire fighting equipment was not seen in the Eye Department. There was not even a fire alarm. In the COVID wing of the hospital, there is equipment to fight a fire if it breaks out, but no trained staff to operate them," Hindustani Biradari Vice-Chairman Vishal Sharma said.
He added that if a fire erupts in any of these COVID hospitals where fire safety norms are not being followed, the city's fire department will not be able to control the situation in time.
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