Heatwave kills 143 people in IndiaTop Stories

June 21, 2024 19:53
Heatwave kills 143 people in India

(Image source from: Nagalandpage.com)

The scorching heat has taken a heavy toll, with nearly 143 lives lost nationwide, according to health ministry sources. Yet, the actual number may be even higher. Additionally, over 41,000 people have been treated for heatstroke. The ministry has issued an advisory to state health departments, urging them to be prepared and respond swiftly to the 'Heatwave Season 2024'. Experts predict that maximum temperatures will remain above normal, following the observed trend of rising summer temperatures. To mitigate the health impacts of extreme heat, health departments must ensure readiness and timely action. Between March 1 and June 20, a total of 143 deaths and 41,789 heatstroke cases have been reported across India. However, the real toll is likely higher due to incomplete data submissions from states to the National Heat-Related Illness and Death Surveillance system. The relentless summer heat has claimed at least 53 lives in Delhi alone by Thursday.

The recent spike in wind activity has significantly impacted temperatures in the region. While the reported figures may not fully capture the situation, it is estimated that the high temperatures in Delhi have unfortunately led to around 100 additional deaths, including 40 recorded at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, pending further investigation through autopsies. The actual death toll during the summer months is likely to exceed the numbers reported by healthcare facilities, as many cases may go unrecorded. Establishing a clear link between the extreme temperatures and fatalities can be challenging. In response to the ongoing heatwave, the Union Health Minister, JP Nadda, has directed officials to visit central hospitals to assess the special arrangements for affected patients and determine the extent of heat-related deaths in recent days. Nadda emphasised the importance of ensuring hospital readiness to provide optimal healthcare to those impacted. The data from the NCDC's National Heat-Related Illness and Death Surveillance indicates that Uttar Pradesh has been the worst-affected state, with 37 reported deaths, followed by Bihar, Rajasthan, and Odisha, where the recorded fatalities stand at 17, 16, and 13, respectively, between March 1 and June 19.

The advisory was issued to state nodal authorities under the National Program on Climate Change and Human Health (NPCCHH) to report the number of heat stroke cases and deaths from March 1 as per the Heat Stroke Illness and Mortality Regulations and daily all-cause mortality data. Surveillance system. The report highlighted the need to maintain a digital list of suspected or confirmed cases of heat stroke and death at the health center or hospital level, following specific formats and procedures. Authorities were directed to ensure the publication of the National Action Plan (HRI) on heat stroke in all regions and strengthen the health system's readiness to deal with HRI. The statement stressed the importance of early warning of impending heatwaves from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). He emphasized the distribution of the forecast for the next four days in health centers and vulnerable groups. Health centers have been directed to improve preparedness for the prevention and treatment of severe HRI. This includes providing and providing adequate quantities of vital supplies such as oral rehydration solution (ORS) packs, vital medications, intravenous fluids, ice packs and equipment to manage volume depletion and electrolyte imbalances. Officials have been asked to ensure that sufficient drinking water is available at all health facilities and that common cooling systems are operational in waiting rooms and patient treatment areas. Additionally, suspected cases of heat stroke should be quickly evaluated and intensively cooled using established treatment protocols.

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India Heatwave  summer temperatures