AP govt sets up panel to probe fire in Vijayawada COVID-19 care centre

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The Andhra Pradesh government has set up a high-level committee to inquire into the fire mishap that claimed the lives of 11 COVID-19 patients in Vijayawada on Sunday, August 9.

Health Minister All Nani announced the formation of the committee after visiting the Covid care centre run by Ramesh hospital at Swarna Palace hotel at Eluru Road and reviewing the situation with senior officials. The minister asked the committee to submit its report within 48 hours.

Talking to media after the meeting, the minister said preliminary investigation had found that the hospital management’s recklessness was the main reason for the fire mishap. The minister assured that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the fire accident.

Nani said a case was registered on Swarna Palace hotel and the Ramesh Hospital management. The case was registered under multiple sections of 304, 308, and 34 sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The minister said that there were 31 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in the hospital's COVID-19 care centre at the time of fire mishap, out of which 20 patients were safe and are now undergoing treatment. Home ministers Sucharitha, Vellampalli Srinivas, Perni Nani and MP Mopidevi Ventakaramana accompanied Minister Alla Nani during his visit.

Expressing grief over the tragedy, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the families of those killed in the fire accident. He directed officials to take necessary steps to provide better medical services to the victims.

Meanwhile, a report in the Sakshi Post said that preliminary investigation found that the management had given false reports to the government regarding the treatment of COVID-19 patients and were found charging unusual high fees from patients for COVID-19 treatment (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: DNA India

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