Kharghar heatstroke: Rs 5 lakh compensation for dehydration deaths

Not everyone who dies of a heatstroke will receive Rs 5 lakh ‘compensation’ announced by Maharashtra government for the deceased at Kharghar in Raigad district

11 attendees of the massive Kharghar rally in Navi Mumbai died on Sunday evening
11 attendees of the massive Kharghar rally in Navi Mumbai died on Sunday evening

NH Digital

The large gathering of people at Kharghar on Sunday were made to come early and sit in the sun for long hours. The state government sponsored event to confer 'Maharashtra Bhushan' awards, attended by union home minister Amit Shah, drew several lakh people. But they were all exposed to the sun in the absence of any shamiana (marquee) at the venue.

By late Sunday evening 11 people had died and over 100 of the attendees had to be hospitalised. More than 600 people had to be treated for dehydration even as the death toll is likely to rise with several people undergoing treatment, mostly the elderly, said to be critical.

As heatwave conditions prevail in large parts of the country, with April by far the hottest so far in several decades, reports of death by heat stroke have been trickling in from various parts of the country. Schools and colleges have been closed and the summer vacation preponed in West Bengal, where an orange alert has been sounded.

What are the symptoms of a heatstroke?

Medical experts warn that heatstroke can affect people suddenly and the symptoms, if not treated early enough, can swiftly aggravate and medical conditions can lead to death.

People are, therefore, advised to take precautions if they have the following symptoms:

  • High body temperature

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Rapid breathing

  • Headache

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Seizures

  • Unconsciousness

How to prevent a heatstroke?

Sun strokes occur when the body is unable to cool itself, when because of humidity sweat fails to evaporate fast enough. The only steps that can help involve staying hydrated and as cool as possible.

  • Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day

  • Wear loose, light-coloured clothing

  • Drink plenty of water even if not thirsty

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine

  • Take breaks in the shade

If someone is experiencing heat stroke, it's important to move the person to a cool, shaded area; remove tight or heavy clothing; apply cool water to the skin, offer them fluids and monitor their breathing and heart rate while calling for medical help.

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