THE SURAT fire department has issued notices on 10 Covid care centres and hospitals in the city or not following fire safety measures following an audit on Monday.

Around 100 private hospitals and Covid care centres are treating patients across Surat city. To ensure the safety of patients, doctors and paramedical staff at such facilities, the fire department Monday surveyed 18 such places across the eight municipal zones of Surat city, officials said.

The 10 facilities that were found lacking in fire safety measures include Navkar Covid Care centre, Samras Covid care centre, Covid centres run in community halls at Althan and Bhatar, Vaishali hospital, Shivam hospital, Jeevandeep hospital, Capital hospital, Nityani hospital, and Teja hospital, they added.

On Saturday, a major fire broke out at Welfare Hospital in Bharuch possibly due to a spark in the ventilator with bed number 5 in ICU-1 ward of the facility. Sixteen Covid-19 patients and two nurses were killed in the incident. On April 25, 16 Covid-19 patients were rescued after a fire broke out in the ICU of Ayush Hospital, a private hospital in Surat city.

Following the two incidents, the Surat Municipal Corporation’s fire department laid out a strategy to prevent recurrences. “We had sent our team to Bharuch to understand how the fire broke out, how the rescue operation was carried, what things are needed, and what are the things to be considered to save the lives of patients and doctors. We have recently witnessed a fire in Ayush Hospital in Surat city, too. Now, we have decided to deploy fire engines and staff near a group of hospitals or at a distance of around one kilometre round the clock. This is to ensure quick response in case a fire breaks out at night. We have also planned that every night two fire engines along with officers will patrol areas, especially which have a cluster of Covid hospitals,” SMC Chief Fire Officer Basant Pareek said. Fire officials also conducted a mock drill at United Green Hospital.

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