Chardham Yatra: Govt issues health advisory in 11 languages for pilgrims

Chardham yatra collage
According to the advisory, the pilgrims should drink at least two litres of fluid and take plenty of nutritious diet throughout the Yatra. Representational image.

The Uttarakhand government on Thursday issued a health advisory for Chardham pilgrims in 11 languages asking them to follow guidelines like acclimatising themselves and having themselves medically examined before embarking on the journey to the Himalayan temples.

“We had been issuing advisories in Hindi and English earlier. But we are now issuing them in nine more languages so that pilgrims coming from different states can understand them easily and take the precautions for their safety,” Health Secretary R Rajesh Kumar said.

The nine more languages in which the advisory was issued on Thursday included Tamil, Malyalam, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi and Oriya, he said.

It said acclimatization before starting the journey is a must as the Himalayan temples in Chardham Yatra are located at a height of more than 2,700 metres.

Travellers in these places can be affected by extreme cold, low humidity, extreme ultraviolet radiation, low air pressure and low oxygen.

Pilgrims must ensure medical and trek preparedness before they travel. High altitude can cause medical issues – it is critical to plan, prepare and pack for the same, the advisory said.

Plan a trip for at least seven days, allow time to acclimatize. Plan for frequent breaks take 5-10 min breaks every one hour of trek or every two hours of automobile ascent, it said.

“Practise breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes daily. Walk daily for 20-30 minutes,” the advisory stated. “If 55 years of age or have history of heart disease, asthma, hypertension, or diabetes, get a health check-up done to ensure fitness for the trip”.

Woolen sweaters, thermals, puffer jackets, gloves, socks, rain gear, raincoats, umbrellas, basic health check equipment like Pulse Oximeter, thermometer etc should be taken along.

Pilgrims with pre-existing conditions like heart disease, asthma, hypertension, diabetes should carry all existing medication and test devices besides the contact number of their home physician, according to the advisory.

“Please check the weather report before your travel, and ensure you have sufficient warm clothes to manage in extreme cold temperatures. Do not undertake the Yatra if your doctor advises against the same,” its said.

In case a pilgrim experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, dizziness, vomiting, icy/cold skin, weakness or numbness in one side of the body, they should reach out to the nearest health service touchpoint.

It asks pilgrims not to consume alcohol, caffeinated drinks, sleeping pills and strong painkillers during the yatra and also refrain from smoking.

According to the advisory, the pilgrims should drink at least two litres of fluid and take plenty of nutritious diet throughout the Yatra.

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