KARACHI - At least 37 more people lost their lives on Thursday from the scorching heat wave in Karachi, bringing the death toll to 1550. Hospitals statistics revealed that some 37 people have died during 24 hours.

Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) confirmed that some 19 people died so far on Thursday, raising the death toll to 329. The hospital is still receiving patients affected from the heatstroke.

As many as 1,000 people died due to heatstroke in prominent city hospitals while a number of other victims died in small medical institutes and clinics.

At Civil Hospital, three patients lost their lives, raising the death toll to 168. Abbassi Shaheed Hospital and other KMC hospitals KMC have confirmed the deaths of five people. Various private hospitals including Agha Khan and Patel Hospital have also confirmed the death of five victims of heatstroke. Five children were reported dead in the National Institute for Children Health.

Karachi continued to sizzle with heat wave with almost every major hospital receiving heatstroke patients across the city and registered a massive number of casualties.

Partly cloudy weather, breeze neutralise heat wave

APP adds: Partly cloudy weather with certain level of breeze did neutralise the intensity of heat wave in Karachi on Thursday, providing much needed respite to the inhabitants.

Temperature would range between 36 degree celsius to 38 degree celsius, Meteorological Department officials told this agency mentioning that very hot and humid weather is expected in most parts of the province.

The fact that weather pattern is behaving quite bizarre could also be manifested through a sand storm in Karachi, adding to the hope that the intensity of the current heat wave may slash further on Friday, they said. They said this was besides the fact that temperatures were likely to soar again over the weekend.

Environmentalist Dr Pervaiz Amir mentioning that the intense wave of heat in Karachi was exacerbated by humidity, said even after rain the persisting humidity could be extremely dangerous. “Heat may not reach not reach 45 degree celsius or so if it rains but humidity could be a problem,” he said.

The expert was of opinion that investment in capacity enhancement of meteorological facilities in the given situation was urgently needed with special attention towards synchronisation with international information bulletins. “There are more than 30 websites providing weather information on hourly basis and our Department can definitely benefit sharing the same enabling authorities in developing timely intervention and preventing unwarranted loss,” he elaborated.

Prof AG Billoo, a senior medical expert and relief worker, representing HANDS said it was time to take concrete measures and help the plausible victims. He said it would be more appropriate that arrangements are made for relief in congested areas where inhabitants of poorly ventilated multi-storeyed buildings, devoid of water and electricity, are provided immediate assistance. Inhabitants of these areas had been the worst victims during past few days more or so because carrying them to hospitals and relief centres was in itself a major challenge.

Supplementing the medical expert Dr Pervaiz Amir said it would perhaps be more appropriate that arrangements are made for mobile vans that may immediately reach to the rescue of victims in Karachi. “Moreover, Shade Centres may be developed on immediate basis and strong lines across Karachi and other cities as well as towns of Sindh that are feared to experience this heat wave phenomenon on regular basis.”

To another query, he said housing codes in the province as well across the country must be revisited and these must be design-specific to weather conditions, be it heat or otherwise. To a question, he said plastering the ceilings with mud was the best possible and affordable option for the residents of Karachi.

Meanwhile, inhabitants of certain blocks of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Lines Area, Liaquatabad, Sindhi Hotel, New Karachi, North Karachi and Gulistan-e-Hijri, Scheme 33 complained of loadshedding on Thursday too.

A spokesperson for K-Electric responding to this agency’s queries said the company staff had replaced 40 PMTs in the past 24 hours that would improve the situation soon whereas the issue of low voltage was also being addressed.

To a query about arrangements for any emergency in case of possible rains, he said these were already in place and public cooperation is needed to sustain the system.

Sindh Health Secretary Saeed Mangnejo said 100 more heat stroke deaths were registered in different areas of Karachi, Tando Allah Yar, Khairpur and Badin since Wednesday evening to Thursday noon. “The cumulative total of death tolls comes to 822 since Saturday,” he said mentioning that these cases encompass all registered cases at both government and private hospitals. He said things were being brought under control and the intensity of situation had declined to a significant level.

To a question, he said the government had done its utmost to address the calamity in best possible manner and optimum patients have been rehabilitated.

Dr Salma Kauser, Director (medical and health), KMC said improved weather conditions has also provided needed relief in the cases of heatstroke across the metropolis. “In the 42 KMC health facilities we have registered 14 deaths since 8 o’clock Wednesday evening to 8 o’clock Thursday morning,” she said mentioning that 213 heatstroke deaths were registered since Saturday.