Heat wave claims over 700 lives in Karachi

KARACHI: At least 748 people have died in the last four days as a result of a severe heat wave in Karachi, doctors and officials said Tuesday, with medics battling to treat patients as a state of emergency was declared in hospitals.

Meanwhile, 33 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours from Hyderabad, Tando Allah Yar and Hala.

Dr. Javed Jamali, Spokesman for the Jinnah Hospital confirmed that the hospital received 201 bodies in the last 4 days. Dr. Salma Qausar Senior Director at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital confirmed that 102 lost the battle for life at various hospitals of the KMC. According to Civili Hospital sources, 86 people lost their lives while 15 bodies were received by the New Karachi hospital.

Liaquat National Hospital sources confirmed 25 deaths. Out of 50 patients admitted at the Qatar Hospital, 32 lost the battle for life. Ziauddin Hospital sources have confirmed 38 deaths. The National Institute of Cardiology received 64 bodies, while 35 children passed away at the National Institute of Child Health.

While the Sindh government has imposed a state of emergency at all hospitals, cancelling leave for doctors and other medical staff and increasing stocks of medical supplies, doctors have appealed that people should avoid going out in the sun unnecessarily and should wash their face multiple times a day in order to stay cool during the heat wave.

Dr Seemi Jamali at the Jinnah Hospital advises that people should opt for loose fitting clothes that allow for air to permeate through. If there is no electricity then people should opt for using hand-fans to keep cool.

According to experts, people are vulnerable to the heat wave due to their low internal resistance and have advised using as much water as possible.

Residents of the city have not only been faced with the intense heat wave but also prolonged power outages during the holy month of Ramazan.

Temperatures remained at around 44.5 Celsius in Karachi on Tuesday but thunderstorms were forecast for the evening, the Meteorological Office said.

“Due to a low depression developing in the Arabian sea, thunderstorms will likely begin this evening and might continue for the next three days,” said a Meteorological official.