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Hospitals need to submit safety plans: DC

- Meet in East Khasi Hills on precautionary measures in the wake of AMRI fire in Calcutta

Shillong, Dec. 19: The East Khasi Hills district administration has asked the city hospitals to submit safety plans at the earliest, in the aftermath of the tragic fire in incident at AMRI Hospitals in Calcutta, which claimed 93 lives.

Additional deputy commissioner D.M. Wahlang convened a meeting with authorities of 10 Shillong hospitals to discuss the safety measures to be adopted at the earliest.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the additional deputy commissioner told reporters that as a follow-up to the training conducted in October, today’s meeting was called to ensure that the hospitals in the state adopt safety measures. “It was a coincidence that we had held the first training programme with various hospital staff in October on fire safety measures much before the AMRI fire incident,” the official said.

He said after the first meeting, three hospitals — government-run Ganesh Das Hospital and Shillong civil hospital and Nazareth Hospital — had submitted the safety plans to mitigate any untoward incidents.

The administration has urged other hospitals to submit the safety plans at the earliest. “We have also suggested the need to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in every floor of the hospital and also asked them to review the electrical safety in the hospitals,” Wahlang said.

Signs and pointers to show exits and entrances should also be part of the safety measures to be adopted by the hospitals, he said.

“We have also requested them to introduce retro reflective tapes in every floor of the hospital as in case of any major disaster the voice from the tapes can guide the people to come out of the buildings,” the official said.

According to him, as Meghalaya falls under seismic zone V, which is prone to earthquakes, the introduction of retro reflective tapes not only in hospitals but also in government buildings will be of great help.

The district administration also wanted the hospitals to provide the inventory lists and the number of implements to the government to find out what is lacking in terms of ensuring safety of the patients.

“The meeting felt the need for conducting mock drills in various hospitals and the government is ready to assist them in this regard,” Wahlang said. The East Khasi Hills district administration will also depute officials along with the fire service personnel to carry out inspection of the hospitals to find out the necessary requirements to ensure safety.

According to Wahlang, the district administration expects the hospitals to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in every floor within three months.

Besides the hospitals, the district disaster management authority recently held a meeting with the headmen of as many as 38 localities and stressed the need to initiate safety plans in their respective areas.

To prepare a safety plan in each locality, Rs 6,000 each will be provided and the first instalment of Rs 3,000 had already been released, Wahlang said.