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Gujarat: Alarming rise in deaths during Navratri Garba celebrations as 10 participants die in 24 hours

The 108 emergency ambulance services recorded a notable influx of distress calls during the first six days of Navratri. These calls, primarily associated with heart problems and breathlessness, numbered 521 and 609, respectively.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Ahmedabad Updated on: October 22, 2023 8:33 IST
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO People perform Garba during the Navratri festival.

The vibrant Navratri festival celebrated with traditional dance forms like Garba, has taken a tragic turn in Gujarat as at least ten individuals lost their lives while participating in Garba over the past 24 hours. The victims, ranging from teenagers to middle-aged participants, have raised concerns about the safety of such festive events. Among the victims was a 13-year-old boy from Dabhoi, Baroda, who was the youngest to succumb to this unfortunate trend. On Friday, a 24-year-old man from Ahmedabad suddenly collapsed while engaging in Garba and tragically passed away. Similarly, a 17-year-old boy from Kapadwanj also lost his life during the festivities. This disturbing pattern of incidents has left the state in shock and mourning.

In addition to the recent casualties, the first six days of Navratri have witnessed an influx of distress calls to the 108 emergency ambulance services. These calls, primarily related to heart issues and breathlessness, numbered 521 and 609, respectively. The calls were recorded between 6 pm and 2 am, the peak hours of Garba celebrations.

The surge in health emergencies has prompted both the government and event organizers to take immediate action. The state government issued an alert to all government hospitals and community health centers (CHCs) near Garba venues, urging them to remain on high alert and prepared for any contingencies.

Garba event organisers have been directed to establish clear pathways for ambulances to gain swift access to the venues in case of emergencies. To enhance participant safety, doctors and ambulances are stationed at these venues, along with other precautionary measures. Event organisers are further advised to provide CPR training to their staff and ensure an ample supply of water for participants.

Before the commencement of Navratri this year, Gujarat witnessed three individuals who suffered fatal heart attacks while participating in Garba. These incidents emphasize the urgency of improving health and safety measures during cultural celebrations, particularly when they involve physical activities.

Also read | Gujarat tightens security at borders with poll-bound Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh | Here's why 


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