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Light rain in parts of Delhi-NCR brings slight relief from heatwave

The rain came when people in Delhi-NCR and other northern states were reeling under a severe heatwave which claimed several lives prompting the Centre to issue guidelines to provide relief to common people.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: June 20, 2024 14:23 IST
Delhi-NCR likely to receive rains
Image Source : PTI/FILE Delhi-NCR likely to receive rains

Light rain accompanied by strong winds in several parts of Delhi and the National Capital Region brought much-needed relief from the heatwave on Thursday morning.

The relief-giving rain comes hours after the India Meteorological Department (IMD)'s prediction that light to moderate intensity rain and winds would occur over and adjoining areas of few places of North Delhi, North-East Delhi, North-West Delhi, West Delhi, Central-Delhi and the national capital region. 

"NCR (Loni Dehat, Hindon Air Force Station, Bahadurgarh, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Chhapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana) Bagpat, Khekra, Modinagar, Pilakhua (Uttar Pradesh) during next few hours," IMD posted on X.

Health Minister directs central govt hospitals to set up heatwave units

The prediction for the rain came amid a deadly heatwave that swept the entire north region of the country.

Amid scalding temperatures in large swathes of the country, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Wednesday directed for special heatwave units to be set up in all central government hospitals.

Nadda also asked officials to ensure all hospitals are prepared for providing the best care to the affected as he reviewed the heatwave situation across the country and preparedness of healthcare facilities with senior health ministry officials.

Following the minister's directions, the ministry issued an advisory for state health departments.

"The country may observe above-normal seasonal maximum temperatures in line with the observed trend of summertime temperatures. To reduce health impacts of extreme heat, health departments must ensure preparedness and timely response," the ministry said.

The advisory asked state nodal officers under the National Programme for Climate Change and Human Health to submit daily data on heatstroke cases and deaths. 

It also directed for the submission of data on total fatalities since March 1, besides reporting cases of heat-related illness and death surveillance.

It called for maintenance of a digital line list of heatstroke cases and deaths -- both suspected and confirmed -- at the health facility and hospital level and undertaking "investigation of suspected heat-related illness deaths" by medical officers or epidemiologists for each suspected case.

They have been asked to ensure dissemination of the National Action Plan on Heat Related Illnesses to all districts and strengthen preparedness of health systems for heat-related illnesses.

The advisory also directed them to hold meetings with state and district task forces on climate change and human health and organise a task force meeting for update and approval of the heat-health action plan at the state and district levels.

This plan should detail the standard operating procedures that will be in place during the heatwave season.

It also stressed on circulation of early warning of heat waves issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) daily after 4 pm, with the forecast for the following four days disseminated to health facilities and vulnerable populations and issuance of advisories to make the public aware about the precautions.

The advisory directed the health facilities to prepare for prevention and management of severe heat-related illnesses and procure and supply adequate quantities of ORS packs, essential medicines, IV fluids, ice packs and all required equipment.

It called for ensuring availability of drinking water at all health facilities, general cooling appliances in waiting and patient treatment areas and stressed that cases with suspected heatstroke should be rapidly assessed and actively cooled using standard protocols.

"Coordinate with electricity distribution company/corporation for uninterrupted electricity supply to hospitals for constant functioning of cooling appliances. Adopt measures to reduce indoor heat and energy conservation in the health facilities. Provide shade outside the health facilities in heat-prone regions," the advisory stated.

(With agencies inputs)

Also read: Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy: Death count rises to 25, CM MK Stalin orders CB-CID inquiry

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