Amid unrelenting heat wave, 50 bodies recovered in Delhi; sharp rise heatstroke cases | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Amid unrelenting heat wave, 50 bodies recovered in Delhi; sharp rise heatstroke cases

Jun 20, 2024 12:35 AM IST

Amid unrelenting heat wave, 50 bodies recovered in Delhi; sharp rise heatstroke cases

New Delhi, The bodies of 50 people belonging to underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds were recovered around Delhi during the past 48 hours, police said, as the searing heat wave sweeping the city has caused a spike in casualties and heatstroke cases.

Amid unrelenting heat wave, 50 bodies recovered in Delhi; sharp rise heatstroke cases
Amid unrelenting heat wave, 50 bodies recovered in Delhi; sharp rise heatstroke cases

Police and health officials, however, have not confirmed if all of them died of heat-related causes.

A senior police officer said the body of a 55-year-old man was found at the children's park near India Gate on Wednesday and added that a post-mortem will be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

The Centre for Holistic Development, an NGO working for the homeless, claimed that 192 homeless deaths were recorded in Delhi due to the heat wave from June 11 to 19.

In the national capital, hospitals reported a spike in cases of heatstroke and heat exhaustion and several deaths in the past two days.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 43.6 degrees Celsius, over four notches above the normal. The night temperature in Delhi was 35.2 degrees Celsius, the city's highest in June since 1969, the Met office said on Wednesday.

The Centre-run RML Hospital received 22 patients in the last two days. There have been five deaths and 12 to 13 patients are on ventilator support.

"The victims did not have any comorbidities. When such people come to the hospital, their core body temperature is recorded and, if it is found more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no other cause, they are declared as heatstroke patients," a senior hospital official said.

"Those who succumb to heatstroke are declared as 'suspected heatstroke'. There is a committee of the Delhi government that later confirms the deaths," the official said.

To ensure immediate cooling of the body, the hospital has set up a first-of-its-kind heatstroke unit.

"The unit has cooling technology and the patients are kept in baths filled with ice and water. When their body temperature goes below 102 degrees Fahrenheit, they are monitored," the official said.

"If they are stable, they are shifted into the ward. Otherwise, they are put on a ventilator. Most of the patients who are admitted are labourers," he added.

The Safdarjung Hospital received 60 patients with suspected heatstroke, including 42 who were admitted. The hospital has reported six casualties, including a 60-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man.

At LNJP Hospital, four patients have died due to suspected heatstroke in the last two days.

"There were two deaths on Tuesday due to suspected heatstroke and two more on Wednesday. There are 16 heatstroke patients who have been admitted," said a hospital official.

One of the victims, aged around 39, died during treatment on June 15. He was a motor mechanic who collapsed while working at his shop in Janakpuri. He was brought in with high-grade fever.

Speaking on heatstroke symptoms, a senior hospital official said patients sometimes collapse due to dehydration.

They also suffer from very high fever, which causes the body temperature to reach 106 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit, he added.

The Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi is reporting 30 to 35 heatstroke cases at its outpatient department daily.

"These include conditions such as heat cramp and heat exhaustion," said Dr Atul Kakar, chairperson of the hospital's Department of Internal Medicine.

"This surge in cases highlights the importance of public awareness about heat safety measures, including staying hydrated, seeking shade during peak sun hours and understanding the signs of heat-related distress. Healthcare providers are on alert, ensuring prompt and effective treatment to manage and mitigate the impact of rising temperatures on public health," he added.

The heat wave is causing an increase in the prevalence of lupus that affects the skin, joints and kidneys, among other organs. People who have lupus frequently experience flare-ups and aggravated symptoms as the temperature rises.

Six to 10 cases of lupus were detected due to the prolonged heat wave. SLE or lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own system is targeted, leading to multiple-organ affection and damage. It primarily affects women and that too in their child-bearing age between 15 and 45, said Dr Lalit Duggal, a senior consultant of rheumatology and clinical immunology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Meanwhile, police said they are getting calls regarding unnatural deaths of security guards, beggars or underprivileged people.

"The actual reason behind the deaths can only be known after post-mortem. But no doubt we are getting calls regarding deaths from all the districts of Delhi," the senior police officer said.

"So far, we got to know that around 50 people died in different parts of Delhi. We have launched an investigation into the matter and our teams shifted the bodies to different hospitals for autopsy. The reports are awaited," he added.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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