Bhubaneswar: A day after a major fire at a hospital here claimed 20 lives, the gutted portions of the private medical facility were sealed today ahead of a probe as the Odisha government made preparations for the treatment of the injured who have been shifted to other hospitals.
While 20 deaths were officially confirmed, authorities of different hospitals where the injured where shifted last night put the toll at 22.Health Secretary Arti Ahuja, who visited the Sum Hospital, said that 14 and five bodies were received at the Capital Hospital and AMRI Hospital here respectively, while a Spokesman of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar said that one death was reported at their facility.
Most of the deaths took place due to suffocation and asphyxiation, a senior official said, adding that majority of the patients were on ventilator support at the ICU in the Sum Hospital.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister J P Nadda in Delhi said, "The Prime Minister had sent instructions to me to check all the arrangements from the health point of view. We informed AIIMS, Bhubanesawar immediately. The Director, Medical Superintendent, specialists and doctors are present there since last night.
"Around 30 patients have been admitted to AIIMS and all facilities have been provided by us. The state and Central government officials are in contact with us."
After visiting the Sum Hospital, the Health Secretary said that the Intensive Care Unit and dialysis unit of the fire-hit medical facility have been sealed to ensure a proper investigation.
As many as 106 persons, who were shifted from Sum Hospital following the blaze last night, are now undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the city, she said.
Some patients have also been shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack for treatment.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited some of the hospitals, including AIIMS and AMRI Hospital here, to inquire about the condition of the patients undergoing treatment there.
State's Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the priority was to provide 'proper' treatment to the patients from the fire-hit hospital who have been shifted to other medical facilities.
The state government has already ordered a high-level probe by the Director, Medical Education and Training, into the incident. In addition, a probe by the revenue divisional commissioner (RDC) has also been ordered, an official said.
State Governor S C Jamir visited the hospitals where the injured were undergoing treatment.
Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University (SOA), which runs the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each for the families of the dead, its Vice-Chancellor Amit Banerjee said.
Four employees of the hospital have been suspended following the fire while the institute would bear the treatment cost of the injured. .