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May 2, 2019

Five fall unconscious as city braves year’s hottest day


May 2, 2019

Two women and three men fell unconscious in different areas of the city due to sunstroke after mercury soared to 42 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

According to health officials and meteorologists, heatwave like conditions might prevail till Saturday under the influence of hot and dry winds from the north-westerly direction.

“Five persons, including two women, were brought to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital due to sunstroke. All the patients were given immediate first-aid and they were discharged after their condition stabilised. No other hospital of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) reported any sunstroke or heat stroke cases,” Senior Director Health and Medical Services KMC Dr Birbal Genani told The News.

The patients included Rasheeda, Saima, Nazeer Ahmed, Zahid and a driver of a private ambulance service, Sameer. Roads and main thoroughfares remained deserted on the Labour Day holiday due to hot and dry weather. The temperature had started to rise after sunrise and by 11am the mercury crossed the mark of 42 degrees Celsius.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department said it was the second day of a mild heat wave and warned that the maximum temperature would range in 40-42 degrees Celsius till Saturday.

“Hot winds from the North and North Westerly directions of 10-15 knots are likely to dominate especially during daytimes; however, the evenings would remain relatively pleasant with the resumption of the sea breeze and increased humidity level,” Met Office Karachi Director Sardar Sarfraz said.

PMD officials said Pakistan, especially plains of Sindh and Punjab, were under the influence of weather system. Dr Genani visited all the 13 KMC-run hospitals to check the presence of the staff and availability of medicines at the health centers, adding that he himself got sick due to intense hot weather.

Officials at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) and Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi denied receiving any heat stroke patient in the emergency department, adding that due to low humidity in the air chances of serious heat-related illness was relatively low.

“People should take precautionary measures till this harsh weather is over. Don’t expose yourself to the sun, elderly and children should not go out during the daytime. People should drink plenty of water and avoid eating from roadside vendors and drinking unsafe water,” Executive Director JPMC Dr Seemin Jamali said.

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