The summer heatwave is sweeping the northern part of the country, with most places recording temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius. In Rajasthan's Churu, the temperature touched 50 degrees Celsius on Tuesday which was the highest temperature in the world yesterday. "Rajasthan’s Churu recorded a maximum temperature of 50 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, which was the highest temperature in the world yesterday," said Ravindra Sihag, Scientist at Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Hundreds of lives are lost each year due to severe heatwave with infants, elderly, and people with chronic diseases are more vulnerable. Heatwave in India: Kota in Rajasthan Hottest Place at 45 Degree Celsius, Malegaon in Maharashtra Sizzles at 44.4 Degrees.

What is heatwave: Qualitatively, the heatwave is a condition of air temperature which becomes fatal to human body when exposed to it. Quantitatively, its definition is based on the temperature thresholds over a region in terms of actual temperature or its departure from normal. In certain countries, it is defined in terms of the heat index based on temperature and humidity or based on the extreme percentile of the temperatures.

What is the criterion for declaring heatwave?

The heatwave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celcius or more for Plains and at least 30 degrees or more for Hilly regions.

What is the spell of a heatwave over India?

It occurs mainly during March to June and in some rare cases even in July. The peak of the heatwave over India is May.

What are the heatwave prone states over India?

Heatwave generally occurs over plains of northwest India, Central, Eastern & north Peninsular India during March to June. It covers Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra & Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Sometimes it occurs over Tamilnadu & Kerala also.

For May 29, the IMD has forecasted that heatwave conditions are likely in some pockets over Vidarbha and in isolated pockets over Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. Severe heatwaves are likely to persist for more than 2 days with a total number of heat/severe heatwave days likely to exceed 6 days.

The IMD has also warned of Duststorm/Thunderstorm with squall (speed reaching 50-60 kmph) very likely at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh.

Also, strong wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph likely to prevail over the north, Southeast & Southwest Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep for which the IMD has advised fishermen not to venture into this area.

According to IMD forecast for May 30, thunderstorm accompanied with lightning & squall (speed reaching 50-60 kmph) is likely at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi. Many parts of the country including Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Lakshadweep, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Puducherry, Kerala, and northeastern states may be hit with lightning & gusty winds.

IMD's advisory: Heat is tolerable for the general public but moderate health concerns remain for vulnerable people including infants, elderly and people with chronic diseases.

The IMD has warned of the likelihood of heat illness symptoms in people who are either exposed to the sun for a prolonged period or doing heavy work. Also, there is likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages. The best possible way to fight the heatwave is to avoid heat exposure, keep cool, and avoid dehydration.

How to keep yourself hydrated?

The human body is dehydrated quickly which increases the chances of diarrhea, dysentery, and vomiting for which it is advised to regularly intake lemon water, lassi, whey (buttermilk), cucumber, watermelon, and melons. While going out cover your head properly. Everyone should drink lots of water which will keep the dehydration diseases at bay. Also consume lots of curds, butter, and milk along with the coconut water and other cold food items.

Even as the heatwave is battering the country the experts seek to discard a misconception that it may subdue the spread of the Corona. They advise enhancing the immunity and practice the social distancing to fight the Corona.

"There has been no indication that Corona subdues during the heatwave. The normal body temperature of any individual is 37 degrees Celsius or 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When the atmospheric temperature increases then the body starts sweating due to which the body temperature returns to its normal temperature. Outside temperature maybe 40 or 42 degrees, the inside temperature of the body doesn’t change. If the virus enters your body then the outside temperature will have no consequences on the virus. So don't think that during summers the spread of corona will subdue," tells Dr. A K Varshney from RML Hospital.

The doctors instead advise boosting the body immunity to fight the Corona and advice on ways to enhance it.

"The ability to fight disease is called immunity. The body makes antibodies to protect itself from the disease. These antibodies destroy the bacteria or viruses of the disease. Those who have more antibodies have a lower risk of getting the disease. Food should be given special attention for increasing immunity. Green vegetables, fruits, milk, curd should be consumed apart from daily exercises for increasing body's immunity. Do not smoke at all, it reduces the immunity of the body. Chyawanprash is very beneficial for the lungs and hearts. As far as hot water is concerned, do not drink boiled water. Drinking only freshwater is right. But avoid chilled water from the refrigerator or cold drinks," adds Varshney.

(This article has been sourced from Prasar Bharati News Services as part of Coronavirus coverage)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 27, 2020 07:25 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website