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6 die of heart attacks in 1 week while performing garba in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: Six persons, including a woman and a teen student, have died of heart attacks in the last one week while performing ‘garba’, a traditional dance which is the main feature of Navratri celebrations, in Gujarat, as per kin and the statewide 108 ambulance service.

Navratri, a heavily patronised festivity of the state, started on October 15.

Apart from these six deaths, 22 others died of heart attacks in the state during this period.

Sources said state health minister Rushikesh Patel during the day held a meeting with top heart specialists and doctors of U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology & Research Centre and directed them to collect relevant data and conduct research to find out the exact cause of these deaths.

Notably, Uttar Pradesh Governor and former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel had, on Sunday, expressed concern over this issue and urged the health minister to conduct a study to find out the reasons behind the rising number of heart attacks in the state.

“Many youngsters suffered heart attacks and died while playing garba during Navratri. We must conduct an analysis of such deaths to find out the reasons. Since Rushikeshbhai is also here, I urge him to conduct a study on how many people died due to heart attack in the last one year,” she had said while addressing a function in Sander village in Patan district on Sunday.

Citing research done by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard, she ruled out a popular belief among the masses that such deaths were happening due to Covid-19.

The six persons who died due to heart attack while playing garba included Veer Shah, a Class 12 student from Kapadvanj town in Kheda district.

According to his family, Veer fainted due to a heart attack while playing garba at a common ground on Friday night. He was rushed to a hospital but could not be saved, they said.

As per the records of the ‘108’ ambulance service, 28-year-old Ravi Panchal died due to sudden cardiac arrest when he was dancing on garba tunes at a party plot in Hathijan area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad during the early hours of Saturday.

In Vadodara, 55-year-old Shankar Rana was referred to a hospital on Friday night after he collapsed on the garba ground in Harni area. He was declared dead on arrival by doctors.

Mrunal Shukla (31) of Navsari district and 46-year-old Raju Aala of Porbandar district died due to the same reason on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

In Rajkot, a 47-year-old married woman named Kanchan Saxena felt uneasy and collapsed after playing garba on Friday night. Though she was referred to a hospital, she could not be revived.

Apart from these deaths linked to garba, as many as 22 people, including two women, have died due to heart attack in different parts of Gujarat during the last one week.

As per the data shared by the ‘108 ambulance service, they have received nearly 750 calls related to cardiac emergencies between October 15 and October 22. These calls were received between 6:00pm and 2:00am, they added.

The service received 673 calls during Navratri, which comes to an average of 84 calls per day(673/8), though the service pointed out that this is less than the 88 calls received during normal days.

Before the Navratri festivities commenced, the state Health and Family Welfare Department had, through a notification, made it mandatory for garba event organisers to deploy an ambulance and a medical team at the venue to provide immediate aid to participants.

(Published 23 October 2023, 21:29 IST)

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