Close on the heels of a fire accident at a hospital in Bhandara city of Maharashtra, wherein 10 infants were killed, the fire wing of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has issued notices to several hospitals, including government ones, for not adhering to fire safety norms.
Shockingly, King George Hospital, the premier teaching hospital in north Andhra having 1,100 beds, lacks holistic fire safety clearance. Officials informed that while the CSR block of KGH is H is equipped with a fire safety mechanism and has obtained the NOC, the remaining blocks lack the same. The hospital has a 200-bed pediatric wing that has 40 intensive care units (ICUs). In fact, a significant number of government hospitals lack proper fire safety mechanism. It is only the big private hospitals that have NOC. Even among them, some hospitals have been unable to properly maintain their fire safety equipment.
However, speaking to Hello Vizag, KGH Superintendent Dr. P Mythili, said on Sunday that modem fire safety equipment is being installed in all wards, including the pediatric wing. All fire safety norms will be in place within a few days. The work would have been completed much earlier if not for the Covid-19 pandemic. GVMC regional fire officer Niranjan Reddy said notices had been issued to over 40 hospitals in August last year and 20 hospitals recently. “We have not issued any notice to KGH since its anti-fire installation works are nearing completion, he maintained.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Niranjan Reddy, regional fire officer of GVMC, said that there are more than 350 small, medium and big hospitals, nursing homes, and dental clinics in Vizag city. Out of the 350, only 120 have obtained the NOC. Without obtaining fire NOC is a serious issue,” Reddy said while adding, first, we will send legal notices to hospitals that have failed to get the NOC. Subsequently, if they ignore the legal notices, we will serve show-cause notices for prosecution.”
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