MUMBAI: Workers in India’s Kerala state are now getting a three-hour afternoon siesta as part of a series of benefits aimed at combating soaring temperatures and improving labour conditions, government officials said on Wednesday.

Kerala, which suffered its worst floods in a century last year, is bracing itself for more extreme weather conditions in 2019 and the state’s disaster management authority last week issued sunstroke warnings for the next three months.

“There is extreme heat in Kerala. So we are making arrangements for workers and have announced a three-hour break from noon until 3 pm,” said Sreedharan Tulasidharan, a labour commissioner with the Kerala government.

The World Health Organization says heat-stress, linked to climate change, is likely to cause 38,000 extra deaths a year worldwide between 2030 and 2050.

Heat waves in India caused over 2,400 deaths in 2015, according to government data.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2019