April 24 is set to be a scorcher of a day. Going by the Indian Meteorological Department’s predictions for this week, the maximum temperature on polling day in the city will hover around 36 degree Celsius.
To ensure that the 13,000 plus polling officials who will be on duty in the city stay healthy and hydrated from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Election Commission, with the Chennai Corporation, has put in place a number of measures.
“Every polling booth will be provided with drinking water as well as packets of oral rehydration salts,” said chief electoral officer Praveen Kumar. Additionally, each booth will have a first-aid pack and 108 ambulances will be on standby in case they are needed, he said.
Dehydration is the primary concern and local health centres will be put on alert, Mr. Kumar said.
With the blazing heat and the long hours, staying hydrated will be vital. “The first sign of dehydration is thirst, followed by dizziness. Cramping in the legs could occur and in some cases, the person could develop severe giddiness and faint.
Drinking a lot of fluids is essential and intake of salt is also vital,” said S. Manjunath, a physician and former head of the general medicine department at Sri Ramachandra University.
Dr. Manjunath explained that elderly people and those on medication such as drugs for blood pressure were more vulnerable to heat strokes.
A senior Corporation official said the civic body would ensure that the premises of all polling booths were cleaned and all necessary facilities provided.
There will be a total of 3,337 polling booths in the three Lok Sabha constituencies in Chennai.
On Thursday, a 52-year-old polling officer in Miralkudi in Karnataka suffered a massive cardiac arrest at the polling station and passed away.
Keywords: Lok Sabha polls