54 deaths in UP, 42 in Bihar in 3 days as heatwave sweeps north & east India

LUCKNOW: At least 96 heat-related deaths were reported in east UP’s Ballia district and the neighbouring state of Bihar since June 15, with swathes of north and east India reeling from a sweltering heatwave.
A UP health department team reached Ballia Sunday after the district hospital reported 54 fatalities, while deputy CM and health minister Brajesh Pathak said an alert has been sounded across the state on over heat-related cases.
In Bihar, where 15 districts were in the grip of heatwave, including 10 reeling under severe heatwave, 42 deaths were reported in the past two days, according to a news agency report. Among the fatalities, 35 occurred at two hospitals in Patna, where over 200 patients suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting were being treated.


The deaths in UP prompted authorities to warn senior citizens and others suffering from various health conditions to stay indoors during daytime.

“As per hospital records, 54 deaths (23 on June 15, 20 on June 16 and 11 on June 17) were reported. Broadly, 60% of the deaths were linked to other diseases, while fever was the cause of admission in 40%,” said UP infectious diseases director Dr A K Singh.
Most patients were admitted with chest pain, breathlessness and fever, he said. “Also, the larger chunk of these deaths belongs to the development blocks of Bansdih and Garwar… We will look if more people were ill or if there was a common source of the disease, say water.”

Earlier, the government removed the chief medical superintendent of Ballia district hospital, Dr Diwakar Singh, for making “generalised and careless” statements that led to panic in the region.
His replacement, Dr S K Yadav, spoke to reporters after taking charge. “Majority of the patients died in the geriatric age group and the cause of death included high fever, diabetes, blood pressure, asthma and chronic ailments. The possibility of ‘loo’ (heat wave) being the cause of those dying of fever cannot be ruled out,” he said.

Yadav said some 300 patients were admitted to the district hospital for various ailments aggravated by heat.
The main summer months — April, May and June — are generally the hottest, before monsoon brings in cooler temperatures. In April, heat caused the death of 13 people at a government event in Mumbai and prompted some states to close all schools for a week.
(with agency inputs)

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