Uttar Pradesh was in the news recently for witnessing a large number of heatstroke-related deaths, particularly in the districts of Deoria and Ballia, where scorching-high temperatures and blistering winds have wreaked havoc.
The first reports of heatwave-related deaths in the state emerged from Ballia on June 16. The effect of subsequent rain in the area — lowering the temperature and causing a drop in hospital admissions and fatalities — further established this link.
To better understand this correlation — between the rise in mercury and hospital admissions — the Patriot visited several hospitals in Noida and Greater Noida.
“At the Gautam Budh Nagar district hospital, we observed a higher number of patients in May and June. The patients were primarily suffering from dehydration, diarrhoea and severe vomiting due to the heat. Severe cases of heatwaves were not prevalent,” said Abhishek Sharma, Emergency Medical Officer, District Government Hospital, Noida.
When asked about the hospitals’ preparedness in handling cases of heat-related diseases, Sharma explained, “When we receive a patient, we assess their vitals and general symptoms. Sometimes patients exhibit excessive sweating and low blood pressure. Our initial response is to maintain body fluids and stabilise the vitals. Then we investigate the cause of dehydration and proceed with the treatment accordingly, considering the patient’s medical history.”
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sunil Sharma, said, “We have had no reports of deaths or severe illnesses attributed to heatwaves in our district (Noida).”
Regarding the hospitals’ preparedness, the CMO added, “We are closely monitoring weather forecasts. Currently, our district is in the ‘green zone’, devoid of any heatwave. So, there is no cause for panic.”
Expressing similar views, a doctor working at a district hospital in Greater Noida said, “We have not encountered any cases of heatwaves. We have been advised to follow general guidelines, which we are adhering to.”
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature of the area reaches a minimum of 40°C for plains and 30°C for hilly regions.
On June 20, 2023, the IMD issued an orange alert in eight districts of Uttar Pradesh. However, parts of Noida and Greater Noida remained within the safe confines of the ‘green zone’, where no heatwave has been reported.
As the scorching temperature continues to maintain its grip over Uttar Pradesh, physicians and officials at the hospitals in Noida and Greater Noida say the system is prepared to face the challenges posed by heatwaves. With their proactive measures and vigilance, these medical facilities aim to safeguard the well-being of the residents in the region.