Bardez (Goa) [India], March 9 (ANI): The Goa Education department has directed schools in the State to shut before noon for Thursday and Friday.
The move follows a warning by the India Meteorological Department warning of a heatwave in the State.
The circular was issued by the Department of Education.
Director of Education, Shailesh Zingade said that the decision was taken due to the heatwave alert.
Heads of the schools have been directed to dismiss classes before 12 pm on March 9 and March 10, he said in the circular sent to all primary, secondary and senior secondary schools in the state.
“We have told schools to allow the students to leave by noon. It is for today and tomorrow,” he said.
According to the IMD, heatwave conditions are likely at isolated places over North Goa and South Goa. Maximum temperatures are likely to fall gradually by 2-3 degrees from March 11 onwards.
The warning advises people to stay indoors and keep their bodies hydrated.
IMD 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)
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