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Fire at COVID-19 hospital in Gujarat, patients shifted to safety

No one was injured, said a doctor

A fire broke out in the COVID-19 ward of a two-storey hospital in Bodeli town of Gujarat’s Chhotaudepur district on Wednesday morning, an official said.

There was no casualty in the blaze that erupted on the second floor of Bodeli Dhokalia Public Hospital, the official said, adding that 10 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the facility were shifted to the lower floor and some of them were later admitted to other hospitals.

“A minor fire occurred in the switchboard of the COVID-19 ward following short-circuit in the morning. The blaze was controlled immediately by the staff with the help of fire extinguisher,” Chief District Health Officer Mahesh Chaudhary said.

“As a precaution, the staff also shifted all the 10 patients to the lower floor,” he added.

Later, after a health check, three patients were discharged as they tested negative for COVID-19 while seven were shifted to other hospitals in Chhotaudepur town, said Dr. Chaudhary.

“While the fire was minor and did not cause any casualty or damage to property, it will take time to check and replace the electric wiring on the second floor. Thus, we have decided to shift the coronavirus patients elsewhere,” Dr. Chaudhary said.

Out of the seven patients, two were admitted to the district hospital while five were shifted to a COVID-19 care centre set up in the Polytechnic College in Chhotaudepur town, the official added.

On August 6, eight COVID-19 patients died in a fire in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Ahmedabad.

A preliminary inquiry conducted by a government-appointed two-member committee found the primary cause of the fire was short-circuit in a medical equipment.

After the incident, the State government had ordered a fire safety audit of all hospitals.

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