Heat wave claims over 150 in a month in Gujarat

Gandhinagar, May 28 (IANS) Over 150 people, including 55 in Ahmedabad alone, have lost their lives in the last one month due to the relentless heat wave sweeping Gujarat, official sources said Friday.

With maximum temperatures oscillating between 34 degrees Celsius in comparatively green south Gujarat and over 45 degrees in water scarce Saurashtra-Kutch and north Gujarat, cases of heat stroke have also seen a record rise in the last 10 days.

A record 66 patients of heat stroke were admitted to municipal corporation-run hospitals in Ahmedabad Tuesday, when the maximum temperature in the city was 45 degrees Celsius, deputy health officer B.Solanki said.

But he pointed out that the numbers have since begun to taper off.

The situation turned alarming enough to warrant a hurried advisory by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, warning the people to stay indoors and offering suggestions in case people needed to venture out.

The maximum number of heat stroke cases have been reported among the elderly, said M.H. Makwana of the V.S. Hospital, Ahmedabad, pointing out that old and feebled body systems were unable to cope with the rapid rise in body temperatures.

‘Administering saline and bathing them in cooler water is the only way out,’ he suggested.

The youth, on the other hand, suffer heat stroke largely due to exertion and recklessness as happened in the case of 25-year-old Jitu Parasara, who succumbed to heat stroke on his wedding day.

A resident of Malanpada village in Valsad, Parasara and his friends rode in an open jeep. He suffered a heat stroke and collapsed on the way. He was rushed to hospital and died while being treated.

There has also been an increase in hospitalisation cases of infants.

‘Dehydration among children is fraught with dangerous consequences as it can affect kidney functioning and even cause damage to it,’ said Rajiv Hershe, a doctor.