CM Rupani orders probe after 8 die in fire at a COVID hospital in Ahmedabad

Reportedly, all eight were undergoing treatment for COVID-19 infections

50-Vijay-Rupani Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

Eight patients died in a fire that engulfed the ICU of a private hospital, designated for COVID-19 treatment, in Ahmedabad early morning on Thursday. The incident was reported around 3.30am. Five men and three women died. While official confirmation is awaited, all eight were reportedly undergoing treatment for COVID-19 infections. Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta, in-charge for COVID-19 operations in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation limits, said that the hospital has been sealed. He said that while eight patients lost lives, the remaining 41 are safe.

The fire has been brought under control. More than 40 patients have been shifted to SVP Hospital, run by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered a probe into the incident, with Sangeeta Singh, additional chief secretary (home department), leading the investigation. The CM has mandated that a report be filed in three days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media and said, “Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the beraved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM @vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @bijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected.”

PMO has announced an assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of those who died and Rs 50,000 to those have been injured. Relatives have been complaining that they were informed very late about the fire. Questions are being raised whether the hospital was following fire safety norms. More details are awaited.

Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Jayanti Ravi said their immediate priority was to ensure that the patients who have been shifted to the SVP Hospital get proper treatment and make efforts so that every single life is saved. Jayanti is scheduled to visit Rajkot later in the day to take stock of the situation of the rising number of coronavirus cases in and around Rajkot.