The entire nation is mired with the second wave of deadly COVID virus, millions have been infected and thousands have been killed till now. Amid such a grave situation, anyone can think of the hospital as a place where they can be healed and rejuvenated.
However, how do you feel if the hospital itself become a place where one can expect a brutal death?
Well, this is what happening in Uddhav Thackeray ruled Maharashtra. The tragedy struck once again when Palghar district’s hospital came under severe blaze and 13 Covid-19 patients under treatment at a hospital’s intensive care unit died on the spot. As per the sources, the fire broke out in the ICU on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital around 3 am on Friday.
The firefighters reached the spot and extinguished the blaze at 5.20 am, but by then we lost 13 innocent lives, who were admitted to the ICU ward. It is said that there were 17 patients in the ICU when the fire broke out, who were somehow rescued and shifted to other hospitals.
However, what is so shocking is the in past one year, we have seen umpteen fire accidents at hospitals, particularly in Covid care centers, especially in Maharashtra, which raised some serious questions on the safety standards and other security protocols.
Here we have listed some recent fire incidents in Maharashtra, which raise serious doubts over the management of healthcare in the state. It also raises questions about any potential conspiracy behind these frequent incidents.
Fire at Sunrise Hospital, Bhandup
In March, 10 COVID patients died after a fire broke out at a Mumbai mall hospital where they were being treated. Initially, when the death toll was two, the hospital authorities had said that the two were covid patients and were already dead by the time fire broke out. The incident had taken place at the Sunrise Hospital which is located in the Dreams Mall building.
This hospital is situated on the top floor of the four-storeyed mall building. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had assured action against erring authorities, but no credible action has been taken so far.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar who visited the site expressed shock that a hospital was operating inside the mall. However, she was unaware or may acting innocent as the BMC had issued notice to the mall last year for allegedly flouting fire safety norms.
Nagpur Hospital Fire
On 4th April, three people died and several others suffered grave injuries when a fire broke out at a private hospital in Nagpur. The fire had reportedly started from an AC unit of the ICU located on the second floor of the hospital. This was a non-covid hospital where the fire broke out.
Nashik Covid Center Fire
On 6th April, in another accident, a major fire broke out in a building housing a private Covid Care Centre in Chandwad town in Nashik. However, by god’s grace, no casualty was reported. Though there were around 22 patients admitted at the facility at the time of the accident, who were shifted to another hospital as a precautionary measure.
Nashik Hospital – Oxygen leak accident
On 21st April, in a brutal accident, 24 COVID patients on ventilator suffocated to death when their oxygen supply stopped abruptly because of a malfunction in the main storage at Dr. Zakir Husain Hospital in Nashik. At the time of the incident, a total of 150 patients was admitted to the hospital. As per the hospital authorities, the oxygen supply tank started leaking due to cork damage after which the pressure decreased and those on invasive ventilator did not receive adequate oxygen on time, which led to the death of 24 COVID patients.
Dahisar Hospital fire incident
On April 4th, a massive fire broke out at the jumbo Covid care center in the Dahisar area of Mumbai. however, there were no casualties reported and patients were shifted in time to a safe location inside the facility. The blaze erupted in the section called “Hangar F” of the CCC where 50 patients were lodged and soon spread to “Hangar G” where 49 patients were admitted.
Bhandara hospital fire
The fire had broken out at the Special Newborn Care Unit of the four-storeyed district hospital in Bhandara. In this incident, 10 new born-babies died due to suffocation after smoke engulfed the building. The babies, aged between one and three months, lost their lives.
After this gruesome incident, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered the authorities to check if there have been any incidents of ignoring safety norms at hospitals in the state while combating the coronavirus pandemic. However, no action has been taken against the people who were responsible for these fatal incidents.
Incidents – Conspiracy or Incompetency?
While this is not the time to play the blame game, but someone has to take responsibility for such gruesome incidents. While media goes gaga over any small such incidents in any other state, but media and political parties are keeping quiet on these incidents in Maharashtra.
Here the big question that why all such incidents happening in Maharashtra only? Above all, the Maharashtra government is merely doing lip service and not taking any strong steps to counter such administrative lapses. Or can we say that the Maharashtra government is deliberately hiding all such information to cover some of their own people, just like the Sushant Rajpoot and Antilia case?