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Fire safety audit in Odisha Covid hospitals begins after Ahmedabad tragedy | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Shaken by the fire tragedy in a Covid hospital in Ahmedabad that left eight patients dead, the state government on Thursday started conducting fire safety audit of the Covid treatment centres in Odisha. At present, the state has around 40 Covid hospitals, 178 Covid care centres (CCCs) and more than 500 Covid care homes (CCHs) in different districts.
The director general of fire services Satyajit Mohanty ordered immediate fire safety audit minutes after chief minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his concern over the Ahmedabad tragedy. “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the fire accident in a Covid Hospital in Ahmedabad. Wish the bereaved families have courage to overcome the irreparable loss and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Naveen tweeted.
Mohanty said the fire services directorate asked its personnel to visit the Covid healthcare centres under their jurisdictions and inspect the fire safety arrangements. “Our assistant and deputy fire officers took stock of the fire safety arrangements in different Covid hospitals, CCCs and CCHs. The inspecting officers have been asked to submit the report of fire safety audit and recommendations to improve the deficiencies, if any, within 24 hours near the in-charges of the Covid centres. The in-charges of the Covid centres should comply with the recommendations,” Mohanty said.
The fire services directorate did not disclose if their officers came across slack fire safety measures in any Covid treatment centres on the day one of the inspection. “We have been disinfecting Covid care centres and hospitals regularly. The hospital staff members are being sensitized on how to handle fire accidents, if they occur, before our arrival,” another fire official said.
The issue of fire safety assumes significance in the wake of the fire tragedy at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar in October 2016 in which at least 20 patients were killed. The same hospital has created a dedicated 500-bed Covid-19 hospital with 20 ICUs.
“We have installed all necessary gadgets to extinguish fire. We also possess a valid fire safety certificate. If the fire authorities advise us to further improve the apparatus, we will abide by their suggestions,” a senior functionary of the private Covid hospital said.

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