People stand outside Vijay Vallabh COVID-19 hospital after a fire broke out, at Virar, near Mumbai
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Friday directed the district administrations to conduct oxygen and fire audits at all hospitals in the state.
These directives from Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte come in the backdrop of the oxygen leak incident at a state- run hospital in Nashik, in which 22 Covid-19 patients lost their lives and the fire at a hospital in Virar, where 13 patients were killed.
Speaking at a virtual meet, the chief secretary said oxygen tankers have been given the status of ambulances and transportation of the life-saving gas has to be under police security.
The virtual meeting was attended by district collectors, divisional commissioners, police commissioners, superintendents of police and senior bureaucrats.
Kunte said all hospitals should undertake preventive measures to ensure that incidents of fire do not reoccur.
Apart from fire audits, oxygen audits should also be conducted, he said.
“Under the oxygen audit, they should examine if patients are given oxygen in a scientific manner and if the task force’s recommendations to prevent wastage are being followed,” the official said, adding that measures should be taken to check leakage of oxygen.
Each district should have an oxygen concentrator to reduce dependence on cylinders and liquid oxygen, the chief secretary said.
Oxygen plants on PSA technology should be set up, he said.
Of the oxygen tankers arriving from Vishakhapatnam, four tankers will be sent to Nagpur and Nashik, Kunte added.