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No Licence, No Emergency Exit, Unqualified Doctor at Delhi Hospital Where Fire Killed 7 Newborns

The hospital's licence had expired on March 31.
The Vivek Vihar hospital fire.

New Delhi: After a tragic fire killed seven newborn babies at a hospital in Delhi’s Vivek Vihar late on Sunday night, the Delhi Police on Sunday arrested Baby Care New Born Child Hospital’s owner Naveen Kichi.

Reports after the fire have detailed a long list of irregularities and illegalities at the hospital. The hospital’s licence had expired on March 31. Doctors on duty were not qualified to treat infants. There were no emergency exits. No fire extinguishers were installed. Oxygen cylinders were stored in an unsafe manner.

“License issued to the Baby Care New Born Child Hospital has already expired on March 31. As per the expired license, the hospital was allowed five beds only, but at the time of incident twelve new born children were admitted in the facility,” a senior officer told The New Indian Express.

He also said the doctors were not qualified to treat newborns in need of neonatal incentive care. “There was no fire extinguisher installed in the said hospital for emergency condition in case of eruption of fire. There is no emergency exit in the facility in case of any untoward incident,” the officer continued.

According to NDTV, the doctor on duty, Dr Akash – a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery graduate, has been arrested.

According to The Indian Express, residents of the locality had raised complaints about the way the hospital was functioning. “Residents from all the floors in our building had complained, even the neighbours next to our house had complained, but no action was taken. We complained so much that it even led to public fights with the hospital authorities. The oxygen trucks used to come daily to refill the cylinders, sometimes lining them up in front of our shop,” said Faiyaj Alam, who works at an optical shop next to the hospital.

“We have complained to the MCD and the area councilors multiple times, but no action was taken. We were aware that the constant loading and unloading of cylinders was a safety hazard. They used to load and unload cylinders all the time. A year ago, some people in our neighbourhood even moved out of their rented houses due to the constant noise,” said Vidhi, another neighbour.

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