Doctor and three staff nurses arrested for negligence in Maharashtra hospital fire

11 COVID-19 patients died in a fire in the intensive care unit of Ahmednagar Civil Hospital. (To file)

Pune:

A female doctor and three nurses were arrested Tuesday by Ahmednagar police for causing negligent death, three days after eleven patients with COVID-19 died in a fire in the intensive care unit of the Ahmednagar civilian hospital, police said.

Military doctor Dr Vishakha Shinde and nurses Sapna Pathare, Asma Shaikh and Channa Anant were arrested under Articles 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304 A (Causing death by negligence) of the Code. Indian Criminal Justice (IPC), said Manoj Patil, police commissioner of the Ahmednagar Rural Police.

The state government had previously suspended Ahmednagar district civilian surgeon Dr Sunil Pokharna, medical officers of health Dr Suresh Dhakne and Dr Vishakha Shinde, and staff nurse Sapna Pathare. The services of two nurses, Asma Shaikh and Channa Anant, have ended.

“Dr Vishakha Shinde was on duty (at Ahmednagar Civil Hospital on November 6) but she did not report the incident. the fire has occurred, ”the SP said, adding that they were not supposed to leave the intensive care unit.

The main job of a nurse is to protect patients in the event of an ICU fire, he said.

Mr Patil said relatives of patients have to rush to the intensive care unit to save their loved ones while all those nurses wait outside.