Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and health minister Alla Nani, along with home minister Mekathoti Sucharita, visited Swarna Palace, which was turned into a COVID Care Centre after the fire mishap occurred in the building in Vijayawada early on Sunday morning.

They also held a meeting with the officials to review the situation after the fire mishap.

After the meeting, Alla Nani said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy  announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the kin of the deceased.

He said that all the patients in the hotel were shifted to Ramesh Hospital, which has been running the COVID Care Centre. The medical and health officials have been directed to provide better treatment to those injured in the accident,” he said.

He said that a special committee has been constituted to inquire into the accident at the hotel-turned-CCC. He said that the CCC where the accident took place was not a government-run centre. The COVID Centres being run in hotels do not have all kinds of medical facilities and it is for the same reason, patients with mild symptoms are being lodged in such places.”

In May, Ramesh Hospital sought permission to turn Swarna Palace into a COVID Centre. The Centre was opened in the hotel in July, the minister said.

“We will take action if the human error caused the fire mishap. A case has been registered against Ramesh Hospital and investigation is underway. Initially, 84 private hospitals were given permission as COVID Centres. Later, the number has been increased to 134 as there was a spike in the number of patients.”

Home minister Sucharita said the fire at Swarna Palace was unfortunate. Fire crews arrived at the hotel within minutes of receiving the information. Authorities responded immediately after the accident, she said.

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