New Delhi, May 5 (FN Bureau) The Centre on Wednesday asked all States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure fire safety at all hospitals, including the Covid care facilities, so that no fire incident occurs. In a communication to all Chief Secretaries of States and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “Care should be taken to put in place a plan of action, to ensure that no fire incident occurs in any of the health facilities (particularly COVID-19 dedicated facilities) both in the government and private sector”.
Drawing attention of the state Government towards the occurrence of fire incidents, caused by short-circuiting in hospitals and nursing homes in the recent past, Mr Bhalla further said that States and UTs have been requested 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”. “The States & UTs have also been requested to issue directions to the concerned officials at various levels, that heath facilities should be visited by field level officials, to examine internal wiring and availability of functional safety equipment as per fire safety guidelines, within these facilities, and necessary remedial action be taken immediately in case any deficiencies are found”, the Union Home Ministry communication reads. Highlighting the recent fire incidents and particularly in view of the impending summer season either because of high temperature, lack of maintenance or high load on the internal wiring within the facilities, the Union Home Secretary also noted that short circuiting takes place, leading to fire incidents and consequential loss of life and essential infrastructure.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has drawn attention too to the recently issued advisory of the Director General (Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards) and also of it own on fire safety in hospitals and nursing homes. Emphasizing that saving every life is a priority, and it is critical to ensure that required support is provided to all health facilities managing COVID-19 by taking requisite actions in advance to avert any incident, which could hamper effective health care delivery to patients, the Home Secretary also directed them to ensure that there should be uninterrupted power supply on regular 24×7 basis as all the hospitals and medical facilities that a large number of COVID-19 cases are under treatment in COVID-dedicated health facilities across the country and in the most of the cases, oxygen supported beds, ICU beds, and ventilators are critical interventions.