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"Fire safety equipment compulsory in every hospital": Delhi Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj

New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on Monday said that fire safety equipment will be made compulsory in every hospital irrespective of its size adding that the baby care hospital in Vivek Vihar was lacking No Objection Certificate (NOC) related to fire safety.

This decision comes after seven new-born died in a fire incident at the baby care hospital in Vivek Vihar on Saturday.

"Earlier NOC related to fire safety was not required for all those nursing homes which were restricted to the ground or first floors. That's why this hospital did not have NOC. But now we have decided every hospital be it ground or the first floor or even above it, fire safety equipment will be necessary. There should be a water sprinkling system and automatic smoke detection," Saurabh Bhardwaj said at a press conference.
He further said that the hospital had permission for up to five beds but they installed more than 10 beds.

"They had applied for renewal of license also but a memo was issued to them as they were lacking documents," Bhardwaj said.

Health Minister further stated that directions in the month of April were issued to all the hospitals to ensure that a fire audit be done and a compliance report be filed by June 8.

Delhi government has ordered a Magisterial enquiry into the Vivek Vihar New Born Baby Care Hospital fire incident.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police in its investigation has pointed towards major lapses that led to the deaths of seven newborn babies in the Vivek Vihar fire incident on Saturday night.

Police said that the license on which the hospital was operating was no longer valid and there was no emergency exit in the hospital premises.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shahdara, Surendra Chaudhary said that the hospital had permission for up to five beds but they installed more than 10 beds.

"We came to know that the NOC of the hospital had also expired on March 31 and the hospital had permission for up to 5 beds but they had installed more than 10 beds. Apart from this, they did not have a fire exit system. So in view of all this, we have added sections 304 and 308 of IPC in FIR and we have arrested its director, Dr Naveen Kichi. One of the doctors who was on duty, Dr Akash, has also been arrested. The accused have 3 such clinics in Delhi," the police official told ANI.

Police investigation further revealed that some of the doctors in the hospital were not qualified to treat a newborn child in need of Neo-Natal Incentive care, as they are BAMS degree holders only.

The two accused identified as Dr Naveen Khichi (45), who is the owner of the hospital and Dr Akash (26) have been arrested.

The report further added that seven dead children, of which four male and three female newborn babies were moved to the GTB Hospital for postmortem. A total of 16 fire tenders were used to douse the fire. 

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