22 heat-related deaths in 24 hours

22 heat-related deaths in 24 hours

114 heatwave deaths reported, nearly 41,000 cases of suspected heatstroke in country

New Delhi : A total of 22 fatalities due to suspected heat-related illnesses have been recorded at Delhi's RML and Safdarjung and LNJP hospitals in the last 24 hours, officials said on Thursday. Delhi has been battling searing heatwave conditions over the last few days. It got some relief on Thursday morning due to light rain. Hospitals in Delhi have seen a rise in the number of casualties and patients owing to heatstroke.

The unrelenting heatwave sweeping large parts of the country has claimed at least 114 lives and left more than 40,984 people grappling with suspected heatstroke between March 1 and June 18 this year, Health Ministry sources said on Thursday. Uttar Pradesh is the worst-affected having reported 37 deaths followed by Bihar, Rajasthan and Odisha, according to the data compiled under the National Heat-Related Illness and Death Surveillance by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to officials at the Safdarjung Hospital, 33 patients suffering from heat-related illnesses were admitted. Of them 13 died in the last 24 hours, they said. The Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital received 22 patients with a suspected heatstroke in the last 24 hours out of which four have died, a hospital source said.

The Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital has 17 patients admitted to its casualty ward while five patients succumbed in the last 24 hours at the ward, an official source said. Meanwhile, at the city's main crematorium -- Nigambodh Ghat -- the number of cremations has seen a spike. Officials, however, could not confirm if the deaths were related to heatstrokes.

On Wednesday, 142 corpses were brought to the Nigambodh Ghat for cremation, which is nearly 136 percentage points higher than the daily average of 50-60 bodies, Suman Gupta, general secretary of the Nigambodh Ghat Sanchalan Samiti, which manages operations at the crematorium, told PTI. The number was higher on Tuesday as well when 97 bodies were cremated at the city's oldest and largest crematorium.

"Usually, around 50-60 bodies are brought in here daily for cremation. The number has been higher in the last few days. Today, 35 cremations have taken place since morning and the number may go up by the end of the day," Gupta said.

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