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After Ballia, More Deaths Reported in UP, Bihar: Officials Deny Link to Heatwave

Last week, a red alert warning was issued in Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh due to the harsh heat wave conditions.

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Video Producer: Mayank Chawla 

Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam 

After over 68 deaths in UP's Ballia district were attributed to heat stroke between 14-19 June, another district in the state, Deoria, has reported 53 deaths in the past 24 hours due to suspected heat stroke.

State of play: Over a hundred people have reportedly died in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha in the past week as parts of North India continue to grapple with extreme heatwave-like conditions.

According to various reports, 45 people have died in Bihar, whereas Odisha had reported one death till Sunday.

The intrigue: Health officials in these regions, however, have denied links of most of these deaths to heat stress.

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On Wednesday, the principal of Deoria Medical College, Dr Rajesh Barnwal, claimed that although some people admitted to the Government Medical College in Deoria did die in the past few days, "none died due to heat stroke as is being projected in a section of media."

"So far, only two persons have died due to heatstroke in the district," Dr Jayant Kumar, Chief Medical Officer for Ballia district, told PTI on Sunday.

Health officials said that the deceased patients were all elderly, and most of them had other underlying issues.

A two-person team dispatched from Lucknow to investigate the unusually high number of deaths in Ballia said they were also looking into water contamination as a possible cause.

A similar statement was made by officials in Bihar.

"As of now only four people have so far died because of intense heat wave conditions in the state," Disaster Management Minister of Bihar, Shahnawaz Alam, told PTI.

"Only after getting the post-mortem reports of five more deaths, we will be in a position to say the reason behind the deaths."
Shahnawaz Alam, Disaster Management Minister of Bihar, as quoted by PTI

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on Tuesday, 20 June, said that a team of experts will be dispatched from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to support the state authorities in their effort to tackle the heat wave-like conditions.

The big picture: Temperatures in several parts of Northern India have been ranging between 42-45 degrees Celsius in the past week, with some parts of Uttar Pradesh even recording 47 degrees Celsius.

The IMD has said that the heat wave conditions in these states are likely to continue till Wednesday, and that rainfall is expected only after 25 June.

Elderly people and children have been specifically advised to stay indoors during the day.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Heat Wave 

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