Vijayawada mishap: DMHO permitted hospital to run facilitiy, no NOC secured from fire services dept
The district administration said it was keen on improving infrastructure to treat the rising number of Covid-19 cases, and pointed out that neither the Centre nor the state government on fire safety.
VIJAYAWADA: A day after a fire killed 10 people at a Covid care centre in Vijayawada, it has come to light that the district medical and health office (DM&HO) had allowed Ramesh Hospitals to run the facility at the ill-fated Swarna Palace, and did not insist on securing a no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire services department.
The district administration said it was keen on improving infrastructure to treat the rising number of Covid-19 cases, and pointed out that neither the Centre nor the state government had issued guidelines on fire safety equipment at makeshift centres or hospitals to treat coronavirus cases.
“We are not denying that the DM&HO gave permission to Ramesh Hospitals. We gave permissions after checking the qualifications of the doctors and infrastructure to treat Covid-19 patients. Permission was also given to establish a Covid care centre at the hotel. But all the permissions were given with good intentions. Our only focus was to save lives and treat coronavirus patients,” collector A Md Imtiaz told TNIE.
Putting the onus on the hospital management, the collector said the hospital should have been more careful before shifting the patients.
“We gave them permission so more lives could be saved. The hospital should have checked all safety measures before treating patients at the hotel,” Imtiaz said, adding that hospitals, henceforth, will be asked to check for all necessary precautionary measures before taking any property on lease.
Imtiaz further said that neither the Centre nor the state government had mentioned that any makeshift centre or hospital must have fire safety equipment.
“The Union Ministry of Health in April gave a go-ahead to use properties like schools, stadiums and hotels as care centres or make-shift hospitals in case of an increase in the number of cases. But private hospitals offered help only from July, and by then, the number of cases had increased a lot. So we gave them permission. Regarding NOC from the fire department, neither orally nor in writing did the Centre or the state mention that a fire NOC was compulsory. The state government is now considering adding this to the list of guidelines,” he added.