By: Shubham Ghosh
Amid unusual rise in temperatures in some places of the country, the Indian health ministry on Tuesday (28) issued an advisory, listing the dos and don’ts for protection against the expected heat wave.
The list of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ comes after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued its first heat warning for 2023.
As part of a national action plan on heat-related illness, the ministry has advised citizens to avoid high-protein food and cooking during the peak summer hours besides asking them to not get out in the sun especially between 12 noon and 3 pm.
In the advisory, the ministry has also asked people to drink sufficient water whenever possible, even if not thirsty.
It has also asked people to use Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), and consume homemade drinks like lemon water, butter milk/lassi, fruit juices with some added salt and stay indoors in well ventilated and cool places.
Residents have also been advised to consume fresh fruits such as watermelon, cucumber, lemon, and orange, wear thin, loose, cotton garments preferably light coloured ones, cover head using umbrella, hat, cap, towel and other traditional head gears during exposure to direct sunlight and not go out barefoot.
The ministry further urged citizens to listen to the radio, read newspaper and watch television for local weather news and also track the IMD’s website.
It has asked people to watch out for symptoms of “heat stress” which include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, extreme thirst, decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine, and rapid breathing and heartbeat.
It said citizens should call on 108/102 immediately if they find someone with high body temperature; and is either unconscious, confused, or has stopped sweating.
“Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicle. Temperature inside a vehicle could get dangerous,” the advisory read.
“Block direct sunlight and heat waves: Keep windows and curtains closed during the day, especially on the sunny side of your house. Open them up at night to let cooler air in.
“If going outdoors, limit your outdoor activity to cooler times of the day i.e., morning and evening,” it stated.
The advisory also mentioned a list of “vulnerable population which includes infants and young children, pregnant women, people working outdoors, people having mental illness, people who are physically ill especially with heart disease or high blood pressure and people coming from cooler climate to hot climate.