Gujarat alarmed after 6 die of heart attack at ‘Garba’ dance in festival week; health minister meets experts
Twenty-two others died of heart attack in the state during the same period.
Women in traditional attires perform ‘Garba’ on the occasion of Navratri festival in Surat in the western Indian state of Gujarat on October 19, 2023. (ANI Photo)
DEATHS of more than 20 people in heart attacks across the western Indian state of Gujarat over the last one week of festivities, particularly during the performance of ‘Garba’ dance, have alarmed the authorities. Rushikesh Patel, the state’s health minister, on Monday (23) chaired a meeting with top heart specialists and doctors of U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology & Research Centre in Ahmedabad. According to sources, Patel directed them to collect relevant data and conduct research to find out the exact cause of these deaths.
Six people, including a woman and a student of Class XII, were among those who died of heart attack during ‘Garba’ dance as part of the Navratri celebrations, their kin and the statewide 108 ambulance service said.
Besides, 22 others died of heart attacks in the state during the same period.
The nine-day Navratri festival commenced on October 15.
Notably, former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, who is currently the governor of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday (22) expressed concern over this issue and urged Gujarat’s health minister to conduct a study to find out the reasons behind the rising number of heart attacks in the state.
“Many youngsters suffered heart attacks and died while playing ‘Garba’ during Navratri. We must conduct an analysis of such deaths to find out the reasons. Since Rushikeshbhai is also here, I urge him to conduct a study on how many people died due to heart attack in the last one year,” she said while addressing a function at Sander village in Patan district of Gujarat where the health minister was also present.
Citing a research done by the Indian health ministry in this connection, she ruled out a popular belief among the masses that such deaths were happening due to Covid-19.
According to the family of Veer Shah, the high-school student from Kapadvanj town in Kheda district of Gujarat who died of heart attack, he fainted while playing ‘Garba’ at a common ground on Friday (20) night. He was rushed to a hospital but could not be saved, they said.
As per records of the ‘108’ ambulance service, 28-year-old Ravi Panchal died due to sudden cardiac arrest when he was dancing on ‘Garba’ tunes at a party plot in Hathijan area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in the early hours of Saturday (21).
In Vadodara, 55-year-old Shankar Rana was referred to a hospital on Friday night after he collapsed on a ‘Garba’ ground in Harni area. He was declared dead on arrival by doctors.
Mrunal Shukla, 31, of Navsari district and 46-year-old Raju Aala of Porbandar district died due to the same reason on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
In Rajkot, a 47-year-old married woman, Kanchan Saxena, felt uneasy and collapsed after playing ‘Garba’ on Friday night. Though she was referred to a hospital, she could not be revived. Apart from these deaths linked to ‘Garba’, as many as 22 people, including two women, died due to heart attack in different parts of Gujarat during the last one week.
As per the data shared by the ‘108 ambulance service, they received nearly 750 calls related to cardiac emergencies from October 15 to 22. These calls were received between 6 pm and 2 am, they added. The service received 673 calls during Navratri, which comes to an average of 84 calls per day (673/8), though the authority pointed out that this is less than the 88 calls received during normal days. Before the Navratri festivities commenced, the state’s health department, through a notification, made it mandatory for ‘Garba’ event organisers to deploy an ambulance and a medical team at the venue to provide immediate aid to participants.
(With PTI inputs)