Amid intense heatwave, Centre issues health advisory. Check dos and don'ts

  • Parts of the country have been reeling under intense heatwaves for the past few weeks with temperatures soaring high with average maximum temperatures reaching 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius in northwest and central India respectively.
Blistering heatwave conditions swept through many areas across the country. (Sanjeev Kumar /HT File photo)
Blistering heatwave conditions swept through many areas across the country. (Sanjeev Kumar /HT File photo)
Published on May 01, 2022 08:29 PM IST
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Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi

Amid the intense heatwave that many areas across the country are grappling with, the government has issued a health advisory for the public to keep themselves protected in this scorching heat.

To beat the heat, some of the dos suggested by the government include staying hydrated, staying indoors drinking sufficient water, using oral rehydration solution (ORS), and eating seasonal fruits and vegetables with high water content.

People have also been advised to wear thin, loose, cotton garments in light colours. The advisory further said: "Cover your head: use umbrella, hat, cap, towel, and other traditional headgears during exposure of direct sunlight." The government has also advised people to limit outdoor activity to cooler times of the day - morning and evening.

Also read | Excessive heat during summers can damage your eyes, say experts

The government also enlisted people who are at a greater risk of suffering from heat stress or heat-related illness – including infants, young children, pregnant women, people with mental illness, and people working outdoors to name a few.

As for the don'ts, the government advised against these: Getting out in the sun, especially between 12:00 noon and 03:00 pm; strenuous activities when outside during afternoon, going out barefoot, cooking during peak summer hours among others. Heat rash, heat oedema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles, heat cramps (muscle cramps), heart syncope (fainting), heat stroke are a few of the heat-related illnesses, according to the government's advisory.

Also read | Heatwave may abate over Delhi soon, thunder development in these states

The advisory issued by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Saturday stated, “Health Facilities need to increase resilience to extreme heat by arranging uninterrupted electricity for constant functioning of cooling appliances, installation of solar panels (wherever feasible), measures to reduce indoor heat through cool/green roof (NDMA guidelines may be referred), window shades, shade outside, etc. Rain Water Harvesting and Recycling Plants may also be explored for self sufficiency in water.”

“States may also utilize Information, Education and Communication (IEC) as well as Community Level Awareness materials regarding the precautions to be taken by population to safeguard themselves against heat wave. A standard template of Public Health Advisory incorporating Do's and Don'ts, prepared by NCDC is being enclosed with this letter. This document could be used as a template and customized to suite local needs as well as translated in local languages for wider dissemination,” the advisory read.

Parts of the country have been reeling under intense heatwaves for the past few weeks with temperatures soaring high with average maximum temperatures reaching 35.9 and 37.78 degrees Celsius in northwest and central India respectively. Both the regions of the country experienced the hottest April in 122 years.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the heatwave conditions are likely to abate over Delhi and adjoining parts of northwest India from Monday. The national weather forecasting agency on Sunday said that the heatwave conditions in isolated parts over Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, south Uttar Pradesh, Kutch and East Rajasthan are very likely to abate after May 1.

The weather office has predicted a fall in maximum temperatures by 3-4 Degree Celsius over many parts of northwest India during the next two days. It also said that the heatwave conditions over Central India will prevail for the next two days and abate thereafter.

(With agency inputs)

 

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Friday, July 01, 2022