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India reports over 40,000 suspected heatstroke cases this summer

The health ministry has directed institutions to prioritise patient care and increase hospital bed availability. Meanwhile, Assam faces severe floods and landslides, affecting over 160,000 people and resulting in more than 30 deaths.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: June 20, 2024 9:14 IST
heatstroke cases
Image Source : REUTERS/FILE PHOTO A man uses a towel to protect his head from the heat on a hot summer day in New Delhi.

India has reported more than 40,000 suspected heatstroke cases and over 100 deaths this summer amid a prolonged heatwave. Temperatures in northern India have soared to nearly 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), one of the longest heatwave spells recorded. Birds have fallen from the sky due to extreme heat, and hospitals have seen an influx of heat-affected patients. The health ministry has instructed federal and state institutions to prioritise patient care, and hospitals in Delhi are increasing bed availability to cope with the crisis.

Official statistics

A health ministry official confirmed over 40,000 suspected heatstroke cases and at least 110 deaths between March 1 and June 18, with northwest and eastern India experiencing twice the usual number of heatwave days, as reported by news agency Reuters.

Environmental impact

Wildlife SOS, a non-profit organisation, reported a significant increase in bird rescue calls due to the heat. Kartick Satyanarayan, CEO of Wildlife SOS, noted receiving 35-40 rescue calls daily in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

Northeast floods

In contrast, the northeastern state of Assam is dealing with floods and landslides caused by incessant rain. At least six people, including a woman and her three daughters, died in a landslide. Over 160,000 people have been affected, with rivers surpassing danger levels. Since late May, more than 30 people in Assam have died due to floods and landslides.

Government response

Authorities are emphasising the need for immediate attention to heatstroke patients and are preparing for continued high temperatures. Meanwhile, rescue operations and disaster management efforts are ongoing in Assam to mitigate the impact of the floods and landslides.

Also read | Delhi-NCR to get relief from heatwave as rain accompanied by strong wind likely in next few hours

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