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SC directs States to implement fire safety audits in COVID-19 hospitals

Anushka Mansharamani

On 18th December, the Supreme Court of India instructed all the states to implement fire safety audits in COVID-19 hospitals to avert fire incidents that take place in hospitals.

The Supreme Court further dictated all COVID-19 hospitals to arrange for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) within one month from the fire department.

Those hospitals whose NOC has expired would have to renew the same within one month.

In the absence of this certificate, there would be punitive action taken against the hospitals.

The Apex Court further held that the states have to adhere to the COVID-19 rules and regulations which comprise wearing the masks and following the social distancing norms.

The bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan consisting of Justice R S Reddy and Justice M R Shah stated that the Election Commission will look into the political rallies taking place and observe whether proper adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines is taking place.

The top court had previously taken cognisance of the fire incident that took place in Rajkot, Gujarat, and passed the fire safety audit today to make sure that no fire incident like the hospital in Rajkot takes place again.

This case was brought up in the Supreme Court while hearing a suo-moto case on the proper treatment of the COVID-19 patients and the dignified handling of the bodies in the hospitals.

The court, while hearing the above-mentioned case, on 15th December, asked the Center to consider granting leave to the doctors serving during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the past eight months, pointing out that it could affect the mental health of the doctors.

On 9th December, the court had also sought a detailed report from the States and Centre on the issues rising due to the non-adherence of the COVID-19 guidelines and fire safety issues rising in the hospitals across the country.