As North India grapples with an intense heatwave, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have witnessed a distressing surge in fatalities. The scorching temperatures have claimed the lives of at least 98 individuals, with Uttar Pradesh reporting 54 deaths and Bihar recording 44 casualties over a span of three days.
According to a report, a staggering 400 people were admitted to a district hospital in Ballia within the past three days. These individuals sought medical attention due to symptoms such as fever, breathlessness, and various other health complications. Unfortunately, the situation took a grim turn as 54 patients succumbed to their ailments between June 15 and 17.
The majority of the patients admitted were elderly, aged above 60. Ballia’s Chief Medical Officer, Jayant Kumar, explained that many of the deceased had pre-existing medical conditions, which were further exacerbated by the extreme heat. Tragically, most of the deaths were attributed to heart attacks, brain strokes, and diarrhea.
In response to the escalating crisis, the government promptly dispatched a team of doctors from Lucknow to conduct an investigation into the cause of these deaths. Diwakar Singh, the Chief Medical Superintendent of the District Hospital, assured reporters that preventative measures have been implemented to mitigate the risk of heat strokes for both patients and medical staff. The hospital has arranged for fans, coolers, air conditioners, and additional medical personnel. On Friday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a scorching maximum temperature of 42.2 degrees Celsius in Ballia.
Meanwhile, Bihar has also experienced a devastating toll due to the sweltering heatwave, with 44 deaths reported within a span of 24 hours. Patna alone accounted for 35 fatalities, while Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) and PMCH recorded 19 and 16 deaths, respectively. Additional deaths were reported in various districts across the state.
The weather office in Bihar documented an alarming maximum temperature of 44.7 degrees Celsius in Patna on Saturday. In response to the escalating heatwave, authorities have taken precautionary measures, ordering the closure of all schools in Patna and other affected districts until June 24.
The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an “extreme heatwave” alert for Bihar on June 18 and 19. Furthermore, specific districts have been categorized under different levels of alerts. A red alert, signifying severe conditions, has been issued for Aurangabad, Rohtas, Bhojpur, Buxar, Kaimur, and Arwal districts. Patna, Begusarai, Khagaria, Nalanda, Banka, Sheikhpura, Jamui, and Lakhisarai have received orange alerts, indicating a high level of caution. East Champaran, Gaya, Bhagalpur, and Jehanabad districts have been placed under a yellow alert, urging residents to remain vigilant.