Heat wave: Minister tells hospitals to stock up as Rajasthan sizzles at 51°C

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 12:31 IST
Woman holding umbrellas to protect themselves from the heat. (PTI)

Rajasthan Health minister Rajendra Rathore has directed health department officials to create awareness about prevention and treatment of sunstroke and to make arrangements for medical care to patients as the desert state reeled under recordbreaking temperatures on Thursday, with Phalodi town registering 51°C, the hottest ever in the state.

Rathore said children, elderly people, pregnant women, labourers working in the sun, travellers, sportspersons are prone to sunstroke.

Read: Rajasthan’s Phalodi sizzles at 51°C, Ahmedabad breaks 100-yr record

He directed health institutions to keep a few beds in wards reserved for treating sunstroke patients, to put coolers and fans in wards, provide pure and cold drinking water for patients and their attendants, to keep emergency kit at the institutions ready having ORS and medicines to treat sunstroke patients.

Director public health Dr BR Meena said sunstroke symptoms include heaviness and headache, excessive thirst and fatigue, nausea, dizziness, temperature rising up to 105 degrees F or more, no sweating, face getting red and dry and loss of consciousness.

He said children, elderly people, pregnant women, labourer, malnourished children are vulnerable to sunstroke so they should avoid going out in the sun from 10am to 6pm and prefer staying in cool shelters.

He said if it is necessary to go out in sun, they should take fresh food and sufficient quantity of water.

One should consume buttermilk, cool drinks, cold water, fresh fruit juice frequently and use an umbrella or cover their head and face. It is necessary to make arrangements of shelter and water at the workplace for labourers.

Dr Meena said sunstroke patients should be made to lie down in the shade, their body should be cleaned with wet cloth and their clothes loosened. Patient should be given something cold to drink and taken to the nearest health institution for treatment.

In Ajmer, water resources minister Kiran Maheshwari flagged off on Thursday an additional water train for parched Bhilwara from Nasirabad railway station, about 30 kilometres from here.

“In addition to a 50 wagon train carrying 25 lakh litres of water daily to Bhilwara, we have started a new train with the same capacity today,” said Maheshwari.

“We are taking steps to solve the water problem,” said Maheshwari. “We have mobilised all our resources to meet water demands,” she added.

Nineteen out of state’s total 33 districts, are facing water scarcity. Revenue department has identified 17,000 villages which face water scarcity.

Another traditional hot spot of the country, Churu, made history as the mercury touched 50.2°C, which is a notch higher than a 1914 record of slightly less than 50.

The tourist destination of Jodhpur too broke its record with 48.8°C. The previous highest was 47.4°C on May 29, 1994.

Bikaner broke its 102-year-old record of 49.4°C recorded on May 28, 1914. It was 49.5°C on Thursday. The western fort city of Jaisalmer in the middle of Thar desert sizzled at 49°C, upstaging an eightyear-old record.

The capital city of Jaipur was slightly better than many other towns with maximum temperature being been 46.5°C.

People in Rajasthan are used to high summer temperatures but this year has been unusually hot. The heatwave has prompted the state to initiate drastic measures.

The Bikaner district authorities ordered sprinkling of water in select public places while a water train carrying 25 lakh litres was off to parched Bhilwara.

IMD warned that the heatwave will be at its severest in the next couple of days, raising the alert level to the highest “red”. This means the temperature will nudge 47°C in several cities, including Delhi.

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