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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Concerned over the unprecedented heat wave in Odisha, the state government on Monday announced the closure of all schools in the state till April 20.

Talking to media persons here, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradipta Kumar Mahapatra said as per the Met forecast given by the Director General of India Meteorological Department (IMD) LS Rathore, temperature in most states of the country, including Odisha, will be much higher this year compared to the last year.

“Apart from this, I have been informed by the Director, Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar that the heat wave condition in Odisha will continue till April 20. Taking this into consideration, the state government today decided to close all schools in the state from tomorrow till April 20. If any schools have examinations during this period, they can conduct examinations either in the morning or in the evening to ensure that the students have no problem,” Mahapatra added.

He further said the state government will decide on reopening of the schools after April 20 after taking stock of the heat wave condition.

Referring to the sunstroke deaths in the state, the SRC said of the 17 deaths reported so far, investigation into four death cases have been completed and it has been found that the deaths are not due to sunstroke. “Investigations are on into the death of the remaining 13 persons,” he added.

He also urged the people to take all possible precautions against the heat wave recommended by the Health department in the media earlier.

Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said instructions have been given to all district headquarters hospitals to make necessary provisions for air-conditioners or air coolers in the heat stroke wards. Besides, hospital authorities have been asked to keep adequate stock of medicines and other life saving drugs to provide emergency treatment to the patients.

According to a Met release this evening, apart from Bhubaneswar which remained the hottest place in the state at 45.8 degree Celsius breaking the 30-year record since April 23, 2015, temperature soared to 40 degrees and above at 16 places in Balasore (41), Chandbali (44.4), Cuttack (42.5), Angul (42.1), Baripada (42.5), Jharsuguda (43.4), Keonjhar (41.5), Sambalpur (42.3), Sundergarh (43.5), Hirakud (42.9), Talcher (43.8), Bhawanipatna (42.7), Balangir (43.2), Phulbani (40), Titlagarh (42.3) and Malkangiri (42.4).

The release also said the heat wave conditions would prevail in the state till the next week.

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