Delhi wakes up to sunny morning after rain; warmer days ahead

New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Delhiites woke up Thursday to a sunny morning, after rain in the national capital a day ago.

Further, according to data shared by the MeT Department, the average maximum temperature in Delhi was recorded at 27.7 degrees Celsius (C) for the month of February, which is the highest for this time of year in 17 years.

According to the India Meteorological Department, light-intensity rain or drizzle would occur over and adjoining areas of Rewari, Narnaul, and Bawal (Haryana) today Thursday.

Weather experts attributed the abnormally warm February to a lack of rainfall.

The weather agency has also put out a dire summer forecast this year, predicting intermittent spells of heat waves.

With several regions across India already witnessing high temperatures, the Union Health Ministry had on February 28 issued an advisory to the States and Union Territories urging them to disseminate the guideline document ‘National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses’ to all districts for effective management of heat-related issues.

A letter written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, under National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health (NPCCHH) daily surveillance on heat-related illnesses will be conducted from March 1, in all states and districts.

According to the health advisory, "Health facilities need to increase resilience to extreme heat by arranging uninterrupted electricity for constant functioning of cooling appliances, installation of solar panels (wherever feasible), energy conservation measures and measures to reduce indoor heat through cool/green rood, window shades, shade outside, etc. Rainwater harvesting and recycling plans may also be explored for self-sufficiency in water."It added that health facility preparedness must be reviewed for the availability of adequate quantities of essential medicines, intravenous fluids, ice packs, ORS, and all necessary equipment.

"Availability of sufficient drinking water at all health facilities and continued functioning of cooling appliances in critical areas must be ensured," the letter reads.

The daily heat alters which are being shared by NPCCHH, NCDC, and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with States indicate a forecast of a heat wave for the next few days and may be disseminated promptly at District and Health Facilities level. State, District and City Health Departments to ensure implementation of heat-related health action plans and support in planning, managing and assessing response to heat along with responding agencies, the letter highlighted.

Bhushan also mentioned that the Health Department of the state must continue efforts on sensitization and capacity building of medical officers, health staff, and grass-root level workers on heat illness, its early recognition and management.

As per the letter, States may also utilize information, education and communication (IEC) as well as community-level awareness materials by NPCCHH regarding the precautions to be taken by the population to safeguard themselves against heat waves. (ANI)