At 120, Kerala reports highest deaths due to heatwave this year

Gujarat saw 35 deaths due to heatwaves, followed by Telangana with 20

July 27, 2023 09:30 pm | Updated July 30, 2023 11:15 am IST - NEW DELHI

Women devotees of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple run for cover from the sweltering heat in Thiruvananthapuram.

Women devotees of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple run for cover from the sweltering heat in Thiruvananthapuram. | Photo Credit: Mahinsha S

As many as 120 people died in Kerala due to heatwave till June-end, the highest in the country, said a Health Ministry statement in the Lok Sabha this week.

Also Read | Share data on heatwave-linked hospitalisations and deaths, Centre tells States

Kerala was followed by Gujarat with 35 deaths, Telangana 20, Maharashtra 14, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh 12 each, West Bengal 11 and Madhya Pradesh 10. States that saw fewer deaths this year till June were Himachal Pradesh (9), Bihar (8), Odisha (7), Andhra Pradesh (4). The Capital reported one death.

To a question from member Ramalingam S. on details on deaths due to heatwaves and remedial measures, Minister of State for Health Satya Pal Singh Baghel said that to ensure adequate preparedness at the State/UT level, the Union Health Ministry had released guidelines to strengthen health systems for heat-related illnesses (HRI) in April 2023.

Also Read | Kerala Minister clarifies on ‘heat-related deaths’

IMD alerts

The States have also been told to prepare their heat health sector plan with focus on awareness building, health system capacity upgrade and strengthening of health infrastructure to treat heat-related illness and reduce deaths. Till date, 28 States have completed their heat-health action plans. Also, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issues heatwave alerts (early warning) and these are further shared with State nodal officers-climate change to ensure health facility preparedness and follow-up.

Also Read | Gujarat reeling under heatwave  

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