Coronavirus outbreak: High-risk contacts out on the street as hotel catches fire in Nagpada

Updated: 22 April, 2020 07:20 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Twenty-five quarantined patients briefly come out of isolation, crowd of 50 also gathers to witness the fire fighting operations

The 25 quarantined patients were later accommodated at YMCA in Nagpada. Pics/Bipin Kokate
The 25 quarantined patients were later accommodated at YMCA in Nagpada. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Around 25 high-risk Coronavirus contacts who were quarantined at the Hotel Ripon Palace in Mumbai Central were evacuated after a fire broke out at around 6 pm on the hotel's first floor on Tuesday. While these 25 people were on the street, a crowd of around 50 also gathered near the hotel.

Fire officials suspected that a short circuit may have caused the fire, which was doused in less than an hour. The quarantined patients were shaken by the incident. A middle-aged woman said she had been living at the hotel for six days and no one from the BMC had come to check on her. "What would have happened if the fire had occurred at night? I have children at home and have been staying here for six days. But no one has come to enquire about our health," she said. Another quarantined person said that BMC was not giving sufficient food and he would have to stay hungry all night.

The 25 quarantined patients were later accommodated at YMCA in Nagpada

Makarand Dagadkhaire, the assistant municipal commissioner of E ward, refuted the allegations and said that they were shifted to the YMCA centre in Nagpada. Insisting that the BMC is following all the guidelines laid out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), he said, "Those who are quarantined are not patients. As per the ICMR guidelines, quarantined people have to be tested after seven days and if they test negative, we allow them to leave the next day. We give them breakfast, lunch and dinner that comes from a centralised agency." He added that the BMC has also allowed people who are quarantined to get food delivered from home.

Dagadkhaire said that while 90 per cent of the arrangements made for quarantine facilities in the ward are full, it is unlikely that other high-risk contacts will be sent to Ripon Palace which was a quarantine centre since repair work is an issue amid the lockdown. On Tuesday, 29 new cases were reported in the E ward.

Fire officials said that the fire was confined to a room on the first floor. Chief Fire Officer, P Rahangdale said, "The building was filled with smoke. The fire was confined to electric wiring, electric installations, the bed and wooden furniture. Twenty-five people who were quarantined and two stranded employees were safely evacuated," he said. No injuries were reported.

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First Published: 22 April, 2020 07:10 IST

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