New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As the temperature continues to soar high leading to a persisting heatwave across the country, Health Ministry has issued an advisory for states and Union Territories to review their healthcare preparedness to keep people safe. In the advisory, the ministry has urged states and UTs to ensure the availability of adequate quantities of essential medicines, necessary equipment, sufficient drinking water and continued functioning of cooling appliances in critical areas.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter, requested states and UTs to keep daily surveillance on heat-related illnesses under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) in all states and districts starting March 1.

“Please ensure that these daily surveillance reports are shared with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” it said.

“The daily heat alerts shared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as well as NCDC with states indicate forecast of heatwave for next three to four days, and may be disseminated promptly at district/health facility level,” Bhushan said in the letter.

The advisory directed the health department of the states to continue efforts on sensitisation and capacity building of medical officers, health staff and grassroot level workers on heat illness, its early recognition and management. It asked to keep a stock of IV fluids, ice packs, ORS and all necessary equipment.

Here are the dos and don'ts directed by the advisory

Dos

Among the dos, the Centre has advised people to stay hydrated, covered, alert, and stay indoors as much as possible. “Elderly or sick people living alone should be supervised and their health monitored on a daily basis,” it said.

For employers and workers, the ministry advised that cool drinking water should be provided at work place and workers should be cautioned to avoid direct sunlight and shaded work area should be provided for workers.

Don'ts

Among the don'ts, the Centre has advised people to avoid getting out in the sun, especially between 12 noon and 3 pm, avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon, avoid alcohol, tea, coffee, or drinks with large amount of sugar stating these may lead to loss of more body fluid or cause stomach cramps, avoid high protein food and stale food and not leave children or pets in parked vehicle among others.

What will happen if you don't follow the dos and don'ts

Exposure to high outdoor and indoor temperatures can induce heat stress, directly and indirectly, leading to heat-related illnesses like heat rash (prickly heat), heat oedema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat cramps (muscle cramps), heat tetany, heat syncope (fainting), heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha