Ramesh Hospitals' Managing Director Dr P Ramesh Babu. Photo/ANI
Ramesh Hospitals' Managing Director Dr P Ramesh Babu. Photo/ANI

3 hospital officials held for Vijayawada Covid-care fire; hospital says agreement with hotel only for medical services

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2020 11:39 IST

Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], Aug 10 (ANI): Three top officials of the Ramesh Hospital were arrested on Monday in connection with the August 9 fire that broke out at a Covid-19 facility in the city in which 10 people died and several others sustained injuries.
Those arrested by the local police include Dr Kodali Rajagopal Rao, chief operating officer of Ramesh Hospital; Dr Kurapathi Sudershan, general manager and Pallabothu Venkatesh, the night manager of the hospital at Swarna Palace Hotel, which was engaged as a Covid care centre.
A committee led by Joint Collector, L Siva Shankar IAS has been tasked with the responsibility executing an administrative enquiry into the accident to determine whether the accident or the damage caused by the same could be evaded if the authorities had been more diligent. The committee has been asked to submit a report within 48 hours, according to a statement by the chief minister's offcie Andhra Pradesh.
It said the arrests were made for neglecting the pertinent needs of electrical repairs which could have been instrumental in averting the accident, in an unprecedented development.
Police registered a criminal case, following a complaint from Vijayawada block revenue official against the managements of Ramesh Hospital and Swarna Palace Hotel under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 read with 34 (acts amounting to culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
Managing Director Dr P Ramesh Babu on Monday said that they provided only medical services at Swarna Hotel where 10 people died in a fire accident occurred on August 9.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Hospitals' Managing Director Dr P Ramesh Babu in a video message said "It is very painful that 10 people died in the fire accident at Swarna Palace. I pay condolences bereaved families of the hospital management and staff."
He said that according to the agreement between Ramesh Hospital and Swarna Palace, the safety aspect and other facilities other than the medical services at the Covid care centre were the responsibility of the hotel management.
"The agreement with the hotel is that they should see other facilities and we should provide medical services. We have discharged almost 200 patients. Despite the fear of being attacked by the virus, our staff came forward and rendered services. However, the mishap that took place yesterday has shaken all of us," Babu said.
The fire accident took place at around 5 am. Fire brigade, Police, government officials and our hospital rescue team shifted 20 people to safer places, he said.
"We had spoken to the district collector and District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) and took their permission to shift the patients in the hotel. Then we talked to two hotel management. We have been following the SOP guidelines," he said. (ANI)