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Delhi: NCPCR takes suo moto cognisance in newborn hospital fire incident

The commission highlighted these serious lapses, emphasising the urgent need for compliance with safety regulations to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: May 27, 2024 20:37 IST
Vivek Vihar
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO New Delhi: A policeman stands guard outside a children's hospital where a fire broke out on Saturday night in the Vivek Vihar area in New Delhi.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has taken suo motu cognisance of the fire incident at a newborn baby care hospital in Vivek Vihar, which resulted in the deaths of seven newborns. During their visit, the NCPCR observed significant safety violations at the nursing home, including the absence of an emergency exit, non-functional fire extinguishers and emergency fire alarms, and no automatic water sprinkler systems. These deficiencies violate the National Building Code of India, 2016 (Fire and Life Safety), and the guidelines of the National Disaster Management Authority.

"The Commission has taken cognizance of the incident of fire in a hospital in Vivek Vihar area of Delhi and the death of newborn babies. A team of CrPC @NCPCR_ will visit the hospital today to investigate the incident. Official information will be shared after the team's visit," Priyank Kanoongo, the chief of NCPCR wrote on social media website X.

Delhi govt mandates fire audit reports for hospitals by June 8

In the wake of a devastating fire at a neonatal hospital that resulted in the deaths of six newborns, the Delhi government has ordered all private and state-run hospitals to complete a fire audit and submit a compliance report by June 8, according to Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj.

Hospital fire incident

The blaze at a neonatal hospital in Vivek Vihar, East Delhi, claimed the lives of six infants. Initially, police reported seven deaths, but an autopsy revealed one baby had died hours before the fire.

Illegal operations and legal actions

Health Minister Bharadwaj revealed that the hospital owner, who also operated another illegal nursing home in Paschimpuri, is under investigation. The Vivek Vihar facility was functioning with 12 beds instead of the five it was permitted for, and a case has been registered against the owner.

Fire safety compliance

Bharadwaj emphasised that oxygen refilling at the hospital, suspected to have been conducted illegally, could have caused the fire. Hospitals have been directed to conduct both fire and electrical system audits to prevent such incidents.

Random inspections and deficiency notices

Chief district medical officers (CDMOs) will conduct random inspections of nursing homes and hospitals. The Vivek Vihar hospital had already been issued a deficiency memo due to missing documents and was operating illegally.

No fire NOC and new safety measures

The Delhi Fire Service had no record of a fire NOC for the hospital. Moving forward, a checklist for systems such as smoke detection and fire extinguishers will be required for hospital registration.

Heroic rescue and compensation

Two nurses and five neighbours rescued several babies, risking their lives. Their names will be recommended for bravery awards. The revenue department is expediting compensation for the affected families.

Ongoing heatwave discussion

The meeting at the Delhi Secretariat also addressed current heatwave conditions in the city.

Arrests made

Dr. Naveen Khichi, the hospital's owner, and Dr. Aakash, on duty during the fire, have been arrested.

Also read | Delhi hospital fire: Baby Care Centre where 7 babies died in fire not new to controversy | DETAILS

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