This annual issue brief highlights the progress at the city, state, and national levels in 2021 to improve India’s resilience to the health risks of extreme heat. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its annual seasonal outlook for the summer expects the 2021 heat season to be warmer than usual over most regions of India. To counter the deadly heat, cities and regions across India are taking strong actions to build resilience and better prepare and protect communities. With the ongoing health threats from COVID-19, over 22.6 million confirmed cases and 246,116 deaths by May 10, 2021 in India, protecting public health is even more urgent, particularly as more infectious variants of the virus emerge.
The issue brief outlines the five key elements of an effective heat action plan, including:
- Community outreach to build public awareness;
- early warning systems and interdepartmental coordination;
- capacity building among healthcare professionals;
- addressing vulnerable groups; and
- implementing adaptive measures.