Delhi-NCR scorched: Residents battle heatwave with index reaching 50 °C

Healthcare centres report a surge in patients, with Sir Gangaram Hospital alone recording over 25 cases linked to the severe heatwave.
Commuters brave the heat Wave during a hot summer afternoon, as the temperature rises in the Delhi on June 18, 2024 .
Commuters brave the heat Wave during a hot summer afternoon, as the temperature rises in the Delhi on June 18, 2024 .Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS

NEW DELHI: Delhi-NCR has transformed into a scorching and blistering place with oppressive, unbearable intense heat, making the lives of its denizens beyond miserable.

Residents have been forced to endure an extended period of extreme heat, with relentless high temperatures throughout the day and unbearable conditions at night.

Air conditioners have become ineffective, with water from taps boiling in the mornings. The IMD has issued a red alert underscoring the severity of the situation, with the heat index reaching 50 °C.

Saurabh Bansal, an IT professional from Mayur Vihar, lamented that even showers pour boiling water these days. “It feels like living in an inferno. There’s no respite from the sweltering heat. From morning till night, it’s akin to being in a tandoor. I have to store water for at least an hour before it’s cool enough to bathe,” he added.

Santosh Pandey, a private filtered water supplier in East of Kailash, noted a 300% increase in demand, mainly for daily chores. “Despite supplying filtered drinking water, I receive constant requests to deliver additional cans for washing utensils and bathing, as rooftop water tanks are boiling,” he said.

Meanwhile, city hospitals are witnessing a rise in admissions due to heat-related illnesses. Healthcare centers report a surge in patients, with Sir Gangaram Hospital alone recording over 25 cases linked to the severe heatwave.

“We’re seeing a spike in heat-related illnesses, primarily heat exhaustion, heat cramps, fevers, and febrile illnesses due to prolonged exposure to extreme heat. Gastroenterological issues such as nausea and vomiting are also prevalent,” said Dr. (Prof.) Atul Kakar, Chairperson of Internal Medicine at Sir Gangaram Hospital.

“Delhi and neighboring regions are experiencing unprecedented heatwaves, with temperatures surpassing 47 degrees Celsius, even at night. Those most vulnerable include children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing conditions such as heart problems, kidney issues, or a history of stroke,” Kakar added.

Dr. Pawan Kumar Goyal, Director of Internal Medicine at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, highlighted common symptoms among heat stroke patients, ranging from severe headaches and dizziness to dehydration and muscle cramps. “Severe cases can lead to seizures or unconsciousness,” he warned.

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