61 killed as brutal heatwave grips several States in north

23 persons involved in the polling process died of heat-related causes; with temperatures rising to 47 degrees Celsius, people of Jharsuguda, Odisha have been asked to stay indoors during the day

Updated - June 01, 2024 07:03 am IST

Published - May 31, 2024 10:17 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A nurse gives treatment to a 65-year-old patient of heat exhaustion inside a Heat Illness ward of a government hospital during a heatwave in Ahmedabad

A nurse gives treatment to a 65-year-old patient of heat exhaustion inside a Heat Illness ward of a government hospital during a heatwave in Ahmedabad | Photo Credit: Reuters

With a heatwave roiling several parts of the country, at least 61 deaths from suspected heatstroke have been confirmed from multiple States on May 31 with 23 of the fatalities being poll personnel involved in the final phase of the Lok Sabha election that is set to culminate on Saturday.

Fourteen people, including 10 who were part of the election process, have died due to heatstroke in Bihar in the last 24 hours, State officials said on Friday. Five of the fatalities among the personnel were reported from Bhojpur, with the rest from Rohtas, Kaimur and Aurangabad districts.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district, 13 are suspected to have died from heatstroke. All of them were admitted at the Maa Vindhyavasini Autonomous State Medical College with symptoms of high fever and blood pressure. The deceased include seven home guard jawans, three sanitation workers, one clerk posted at the Chief Medical Officer’s office, one chakbandi adhikaari (consolidation officer), and one peon in the home guard team, Dr. Raj Bahadur Kamal, the head of the hospital’s administration, told PTI. The region has been witnessing unusually high temperatures for the past several days. Polling is scheduled to be held in Mirzapur on Saturday.

At least four deaths from heat-related causes were confirmed from Rajasthan.

In Odisha, 26 deaths have been reported through Friday, with five of them having been confirmed from a sunstroke and the rest yet to be officially declared so. Several of these were among truck drivers. The heat from the metal body of a truck in addition to high temperature and dehydration probably caused their deaths, a police officer told The Hindu. In Jharsuguda, where daytime temperatures breached 47 degree Celsius on Thursday, people have been asked not to venture out from 10am to 4pm. Due to heatwave conditions, schools, coaching institutes and anganwadi centres in the State will remain shut till June 8.

Four persons died of sunstroke in Jharkhand on Friday, while 1,326 others were hospitalised amid sweltering heat in most parts of the eastern state, officials said. All district hospitals and other medical facilities have been asked to set aside air-conditioned rooms and empty beds for heatstroke patients, they said.

“Four persons, three in Palamu and one in Jamshedpur, died of heatstroke in Jharkhand. These deaths did not occur in hospitals. As many as 1,326 people were admitted to hospitals in different districts of the state due to heat-related issues. Out of these, 63 are confirmed cases of heatstroke so far,” Dr. Alok Trivedi, mission director, National Health Mission (Jharkhand), told PTI.

Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions prevailed over many parts of Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam, the India Meteorological Department said on Friday.

However, the temperature has begun to come down in Rajasthan, Punjab, east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. The southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala and north-eastern India on Thursday, though it will be nearly a month before all of the country receives monsoon rain. .

(With inputs from States, PTI)

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