by Philippines News Agency
June 24, 2015 (updated)
Pakistanis receive ice outside a hospital during heatwave in Karachi on June 24, 2015. Nearly 700 people have died in a severe three-day heatwave in Pakistan, officials said with medics battling to treat patients as a state of emergency was declared in hospitals. AFP PHOTO / RIZWAN TABASSUM
ISLAMABAD, June 24 (PNA/Xinhua) — Over 748 people including 35 children died and thousands of others have been shifted to various hospitals after suffering from heat stroke in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi over the last four days, hospital sources said Wednesday.
Dr. Seemi Jamali, medical superintendent of Karachi’s biggest state-run Jinnah Medical Centre, said they have received over 200 people who were either dead or died of heat stroke at the hospital.
Dr. Salma Qausar, senior director of the smaller Abbasi Shaheed Hospital confirmed that 102 people have died of heat-related conditions, including dehydration at their hospital and over 1000 are being treated.
A total of 446 others died at other hospitals including Liaquat National Hospital, Civil Hospital, National Institute of Cardiology, Ziauddin Hospital and others.
The doctors said most of the patients were brought to hospital unconscious, suffering from high grade fever while others told the medics that they collapsed suddenly during the sizzling day and suffered extreme breathing problem.
They said most of the heat wave victims were 50 years old or above.
They said the death toll is feared to rise as patients continue coming in on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Edhi Foundation, a non- government organization, which runs the largest morgue in the city, said they have adjusted over 600 bodies in recent days despite having a capacity of a far less number and now they are running out of space for keeping more bodies.
Health Secretary Saeed Mangnejo said most of the victims of the heat stroke came from the poor neighborhoods of the city, living in small houses and working in the sun as daily-wage laborers.
He said a state of emergency has been imposed at all hospitals in the city.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has issued directives to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to take actions to deal with the situation in Karachi, the capital city of the country’s south Sindh province.
The NDMA chairman has asked the Karachi corps commander to assist the authority in this regard.
Pakistan’s Meteorological Department said the mercury surged as high as 45 degrees Celsius in the city over the last one week which resulted in such a large number of casualties.
It said the heat wave is likely to subside on Wednesday afternoon as the pre-monsoon rain is expected to enter the province, which will result in downpours in Karachi and other cities.(PNA/Xinhua)