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Ahmednagar fire: IMA, nurses’ association protest against arrests

SP of Ahmednagar, Manoj Patil, said on Thursday that there were no hospital staffers present inside the ICU for at least eight minutes after the fire started.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni , Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: November 12, 2021 7:01:12 am
Members of the Indian Medical Association's local unit as well as homeopathy and Ayurveda practitioners also joined the day-long stir, with OPDs in the state remaining shut.

Members of the state medical fraternity on Thursday protested against the arrest of one medical officer and three nurses in connection with the Ahmednagar District Hospital fire on November 6, which claimed the lives of 11 Covid-19 patients. Members of the Indian Medical Association’s local unit as well as homeopathy and Ayurveda practitioners also joined the day-long stir, with OPDs in the state remaining shut.

“Only emergency services are functional,” said Dr Nisar Shaikh, former president of IMA Ahmednagar and former vice-president of IMA (Maharashtra).

While district civil surgeon Dr Sunil Pokharna and two other medical officers and one nurse have been suspended over the fire incident, services of two contract nurses have been terminated by the health department.

However, the medical fraternity is particularly upset at the arrests of Medical Officer Dr Vishakha Shinde and three nurses — Sapna Pathare, Asma Sheikh and Channa Anant — all of whom have been charged with culpable homicide.

SP of Ahmednagar, Manoj Patil, said on Thursday that there were no hospital staffers present inside the ICU for at least eight minutes after the fire started.

“The staffers told us that they were inside the ICU when the fire started. Our probe, based on security camera footage and witness statements, has revealed that this was a lie. No one was present inside the ICU. They had gone to have tea. For at least eight minutes after the fire started, the three of them didn’t come to the ward. They tried to use the fire extinguisher unit but it did not function properly. Then all three again went out of the ICU and did not return for at least eight more minutes,” said Patil.

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