Heat wave in Pakistan kills 780 people

RSTV Bureau

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More than 780 people have died in Pakistan because of an intense heat wave.

The heat wave is sweeping across the Sindh province, and Karachi is said to be the worst hit. Over 692 people have died in Karachi alone because of soaring temperatures.

In Karachi, temperature has been hovering around 45 degrees celsius since Friday. Met department predicts no relief from the heat until Wednesday evening.

The intense conditions began on Friday triggering an emergency like situation. Nawaz Sharif government declared an emergency in Sindh on Tuesday when reports estimated the death toll to rise above 500.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah directed all schools, colleges and government offices to remain shut. The government also urged the citizens to stay indoors.

“We are closing offices, schools and colleges not just in Karachi but throughout Sindh,” Shah said in the Sindh Assembly. But he said offices that offer essential services like hospitals will remain open.

Pakistan has roped in the army into deal with the crisis. The army and paramilitary rangers have set up special centres for treatment of heat stroke victims. They are also helping with medicine supplies to government hospitals.

Several city hospitals in Karachi have been reporting deaths due to heat stroke, exhaustion and low blood pressure.

“Until yesterday evening there have been nearly 200 deaths because of the heatwave,” said Seemi Jamali, medical superintendent at Jinnah Hospital.

Most of the deaths have occurred due to heat and gastro-related problems, said Salma Kausar, spokesperson Karachi Medical Corporation.

A state of emergency was imposed at all hospitals as well. Leaves of all doctors and medical staff have been cancelled and stock of medical supplies is continuously replenished.

This is one of the worst heatwave conditions that Pakistan has faced in several decades.