Heatwave claims scores of lives in Karachi

KARACHI: The scorching heatwave that has gripped Karachi since the start of Ramazan has claimed the lives of scores of people, health and rescue officials said on Sunday.
“So far, we have received 26 dead bodies at Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre since Saturday night,” said Dr. Seemin Jamali, head of the hospital’s emergency department.
She said 10 people were brought to the hospital dead on Saturday night, while the others were brought to the hospital Sunday. Of those who were admitted on Sunday, Dr. Jamali said five died during treatment at the emergency department.
“They may have been suffering from different diseases but most probably, they died of heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” said Dr. Jamali.
Quoting some of her patients, Dr. Jamali said they had left their homes on Sunday and collapsed.
Most of the deceased were old people, she said, but added that a few young patients were admitted in critical condition and later passed away during treatment. All deceased were male, the doctor said.
An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said in the past 24 hours his foundation registered 150 dead at the Sohrab Goth Edhi morgue.
“Most of them were brought by their relatives,” said Anwar Kazmi, the Edhi Foundation spokesperson.
“We can’t be sure about the exact causes of their deaths— whether or not they died of heat cannot be ascertained,” said Mr. Kazmi.
But Kazmi did say that relatives of those who died told Edhi volunteers that due to extreme weather conditions, they could not keep dead bodies of their dear ones at home.
While Saturday was the hottest day of this year’s summer in Karachi, where the mercury shot to 45 degrees Celsius, the maximum temperature of 48 degrees Celsius was recorded in three districts of Sindh — Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur.


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