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Thursday, April 22, 2021

PMC issues advisory on precautions to avoid heatstroke

The guidelines have cautioned against wearing tight clothes and working in high temperature rooms.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: March 6, 2021 10:10:42 am
With heat on roads, motorists stop for a break to enjoy a cool glass of sugarcane juice in Pune. (Express Photo By Pavan Khengre)

With rising temperatures in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) health department issued an advisory on Friday on precautions to be taken to avoid heatstroke. Across the state, surveillance reporting will begin from March 15 with a special focus on Vidarbha and Northern Maharashtra. “A strict watch will be kept on districts prone to heatwave,” Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, told The Indian Express.

As maximum temperatures are set to rise to between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius over the next few days, health officials have said that prolonged exposure to higher temperatures causes heatstroke. The guidelines have cautioned against wearing tight clothes and working in high temperature rooms.

Symptoms like tiredness, fever, dry skin, lack of appetite, dizziness, nausea, headache, hypertension, anxiety and unconsciousness should not be neglected, PMC health officials said. The guidelines have advised that an affected person be kept in a ventilated or air-conditioned room, ice packs or cool wet sheets be applied on the patient’s forehead and he/she be kept hydrated.

Use sunglasses, umbrellas, hats, shoes and slippers while going outside a home in the afternoon, and people who work under the sun should use sunglasses or umbrellas and cover their head, neck, and face with wet clothes, Dr Kalpana Baliwant, official spokesperson of the PMC health department, told The Indian Express.

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Regularly drinking ORS, homemade lassi, lemon-water and buttermilk to maintain the water level in the body and keeping the house cool with use of curtains, shutters and sunshades are among the important points in the advisory. Avoid going out in the sun during afternoon from noon to 3.30, the advisory said.

‘All cause mortality needs to be documented’ 

There is a need to document the cause of all deaths in the summer season to check if there is heat-related excess mortality, an expert committee of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has said.

With summer approaching, committee members of the NDMA held a meeting with state-level disaster management authorities on Friday to review preparedness and implement heat action plans.

Professor Dileep Mavalankar, who has been heading the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar and is one of the expert committee members of NDMA, said, “There are reports that the summer is likely to be severe in some states and so, a monthly review meeting has been held where states were told to implement heat action plans. All cause mortality needs to be documented. For instance, elderly people who die at home are not necessarily classified as heat wave-related deaths – but they can develop indirect heat stroke and can succumb two to three days later. So, causes of all deaths should be monitored and compared with weekly data.”

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