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Health Ministry reviews States/UTs preparedness to tackle heatwave, hospital fire

Health Ministry reviews States/UTs preparedness to tackle heatwave, hospital fire

New Delhi, June 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Union Health Ministry on Thursday conducted a virtual meeting with States/UTs to assess the preparedness for the ongoing heatwave conditions in the country.

The meeting led by Atul Goel, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), also assessed fire and electrical safety measures adopted by various healthcare facilities across the states and UTs.


The India Meteorological Department's (IMD) long-range outlook for June reveals above-normal monthly maximum temperatures over most parts of the country, except in southern peninsular India, where normal to below-normal temperatures are most likely.

During June, above-normal heatwave days are likely over most areas of Northwest India and adjoining parts of Central India.

In the meeting, states were urged to implement a heat health action plan; disseminate early warnings of heat waves issued by IMD; assess the preparedness of all healthcare facilities and ambulance preparedness for prevention and management of heat-related illnesses (HRI); dedicate heat stroke room at all healthcare facilities; issue health advisories.

The states have also been asked to sensitise and do capacity building of medical officers and health care staff of health facilities on HRI symptoms, case identification, clinical management, emergency cooling, and surveillance reporting.

Further, given several fire incidents at hospitals, the ministry called on states to conduct regular preventive fire risk assessment drills to identify potentially vulnerable areas; and implement appropriate fire prevention measures, such as proper storage of flammable materials and regular and optimal preventive maintenance of electrical circuits and systems.

Besides, the ministry asked the states to provide staff training on fire safety protocols, evacuation procedures, and use of fire-fighting equipment; installation and optimum maintenance of fire detection and suppression systems, including smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers.

The meeting also asked the states to establish an emergency response plan with SOPs for evacuating patients, staff, and visitors in the untoward event of a fire and regularly conduct mock emergency drills without compromise.

The ministry informed that a letter was sent on March 23 to States/UTs for taking proactive measures to prevent devastating incidents caused by extreme heat. This was followed by another letter on May 29 for taking all preventive measures concerning fire safety.

The ministry was informed that Madhya Pradesh has undertaken mock drill exercises on fire-safety accidents in all Government and Private Hospitals, while Odisha has established heatwave control rooms.

Further, Uttar Pradesh is conducting DASTAK (door-to-door) campaigns to raise awareness on fire safety. Haryana has made dedicated financial allocations to ensure essential drugs and logistics at all healthcare facilities.

In Rajasthan, ambulances linked to 104 and 108 are equipped with cooling appliances. In West Bengal, fire safety certificates are ensured from fire departments, and mock drills are conducted.

In Bihar, coordination is ongoing with the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) for preventing fire incidents.

Delhi has also been issued directives and Standard Operating Procedures for fire fighting systems to all government and private hospitals, the ministry said.

Source: IANS

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Health Ministry reviews States/UTs preparedness to tackle heatwave, hospital fire

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