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Delhi govt to direct private, state-run hospitals to complete fire audit by June 8: Saurabh Bharadwaj

NEW DELHI: In the aftermath of a fire at a neonatal hospital that killed seven newborns, the Delhi government will issue directions to all private and state-run hospitals to complete a fire audit by June 8 and submit a compliance report, Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said on Monday.

Bharadwaj had called for a meeting to discuss the fire incident at the neonatal hospital in east Delhi's Vivek Vihar area.

"On April 24, we had issued directions to all hospitals for fire preparedness. On May 8, we had asked them to conduct a fire audit. We will ask all private and Delhi government-run hospitals to complete a fire audit by June 8 and submit a compliance report to the Health department," he told reporters.

The minister also said two nurses and some locals rescued the babies without worrying about their lives.

"We will recommend their names for bravery awards," he added.

The Revenue department will be asked to expedite the process of compensation to the families of the babies killed and injured in the fire, Bharadwaj said.

The meeting at the Delhi Secretariat, where Health department officials were present, also discussed the ongoing heatwave conditions.

The private neonatal hospital in Vivek Vihar where the seven newborns died and five were injured in the blaze was operating despite the expiry of its license. It also did not have qualified doctors and no clearance from the Fire department, police said on Sunday.

The police have arrested Dr Naveen Khichi, the hospital's owner, and Dr Aaksh who was on duty at the time of the fire late on Saturday.


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