The Supreme Court on Friday directed all the states to carry out a fire safety audit of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across the country to prevent fire incidents in medical institutions.

The apex court also directed dedicated Covid-19 hospitals to take a no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire department within four weeks and said that failure to do so will invite punitive action.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that those hospitals, whose fire NOC has expired, will have to get it renewed within four weeks.

The apex court also asked the central government to frame a guideline or devise a mechanism to give rotational breaks to doctors and healthcare personnel who have been working continuously since April.

The bench, also comprising justices RS Reddy and MR Shah, said that the issue of political rallies and observance of Covid-19 guidelines will be looked into by the Election Commission.

The apex court had earlier taken cognisance of a fire incident in a designated Covid-19 hospital in Gujarat's Rajkot in which several patients had died.

India reported 22,890 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, taking the total number of infections to 99,79,447. The number has remained below 30,000 for the fifth consecutive day today. Also, with 338 deaths in the last 24 hours, the toll has mounted to 1,44,789. It’s the sixth day in a row that the toll has remained lower than 400.

More than 31,000 people were declared to have recovered on Thursday taking the total number of discharged cases to 95,20,827, while the number of active cases has fallen to 3.13 lakh. India’s COVID-19 recovery rate is amongst the highest in the world, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday, underlining that countries like the US, Brazil, Russia, and Italy are reporting lesser recovery rates.