Centre issues advisory to states as India reels under intense heatwave
New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday issued an advisory of do's and dont's to the chief secretary of states amid the rising temperature and heatwave in parts of the country, asking them to review their healthcare preparedness in order to prevent heat-related illness.He informed that the daily heat alerts which are being shared by India Meteorological Department (IMD) as...
New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday issued an advisory of do's and dont's to the chief secretary of states amid the rising temperature and heatwave in parts of the country, asking them to review their healthcare preparedness in order to prevent heat-related illness.
He informed that the daily heat alerts which are being shared by India Meteorological Department (IMD) as well as National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with States indicate a forecast of a heatwave for the next 3-4 days and maybe disseminated promptly at the district/health facility level.
Bhushan has asked states to disseminate guidelines on the "National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses" at the district level. "States should sensitize all health staff on early recognition and management of heat illness," he wrote. Talking about daily surveillance reports, the advisory stated, "From 1st March 2022, daily surveillances on heat-related illnesses have been initiated under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) in all States and Districts. Please ensure that these daily surveillance reports are shared with NCDC."
He asked to make sure the availability of sufficient drinking water at all health facilities and the continued functioning of cooling appliances in critical areas. Health facilities should prepare and review the availability of I.V. fluids, ice packs, ORS, and all necessary items, the health secretary said.
Bhushan underlined the need for the health facilities to increase resilience to extreme heat by arranging uninterrupted electricity for the constant functioning of cooling appliances and measures to reduce indoor heat. The use of solar cells, measures to reduce indoor heat through cool/green roof (NDMA guidelines may be referred to), window shades, shade outside, etc has been suggested wherever possible, amidst a power shortage in the country. Further to acquire self-sufficiency in water, the advisory asked them to explore rainwater harvesting and recycling plants.
However, the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted thunderstorms and dust storms from Monday hoping to bring some respite to the people from the heatwave.
Further, the states have been directed to utilize Information, Education and Communication (IEC) as well as Community Level Awareness materials regarding the precautions to be taken by the population to safeguard themselves against heatwave.
Western disturbances are near Pakistan-Afghanistan and are moving towards Delhi and thunderstorms or dust storms are likely to be experienced in northwest India, senior scientist at IMD RK Jenamani told ANI.
"We are giving thunderstorms and dust storms warning for the whole of northwest India covering Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and West Uttar Pradesh. Cloudy weather or dust rising winds will continue till May 5. From May 1 to 5, the temperature will be normal. No heatwave will be there," he said. However, the monsoon will commence by May 15 as per the latest predictions by the weather office.