Image Source : PTI (FILE IMAGE) Nine heatstroke related deaths reported in Odisha

The Odisha government on Saturday confirmed nine deaths due to sunstroke so far this summer, with investigations underway into an additional 81 suspected heat-related fatalities.

According to a report from the Office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), the government confirmed nine sunstroke deaths of the total  96 suspected sunstroke deaths reported this season. Significantly of these suspected deaths, 54  have been reported from seven districts since Friday: Bolangir (20 cases), Sambalpur (15), Jharsuguda (six), Keonjhar (four), Sonepur (six), Sundargarh (two), and Balasore (one). Further, during the report, the government also determined that six deaths were not due to sunstroke. A joint investigation is ongoing for the remaining 81 suspected cases, it said. 

Review meeting held

Meanwhile, amid the prevailing heatwave condoitions, Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena and SRC Satyabrata Sahu held a heatwave review meeting on Saturday with all district collectors, excluding those from Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, and Cuttack. During the meeting, collectors have been instructed to implement heatwave advisories and precautionary measures issued by the SRC. They were also asked to ensure post-mortem examinations of suspected sunstroke deaths for the sanction of ex-gratia payments.

Further, this apart, a need of joint inquiry by the local revenue officer and the local medical officer have been raised to ascertain the exact cause of the death. 

Significantly, severe heatwave continues to grip many parts of Odisha, with temperatures reaching 46 degrees Celsius in Titlagarh on Saturday. Other high temperatures recorded include Bargarh (45.8°C), Bolangir (45.5°C), Bhawanipatna (44.6°C), and Nuapada (44°C). Seven other locations in the state reported temperatures of 40°C or above during the day.

(With inputs from PTI)