KARACHI: The present hot spell in Karachi is expected to ease in the coming days, the weathermen forecast.
They are of the view that the temperature in the city which was 42.5 Celsius on Monday and 41 on Tuesday would come down gradually.
The forecast for the next 24 hours is that the maximum temperature would range between 37 to 39 degrees centigrade in the metropolis.
Karachi is expected to have proper rain by Wednesday with all chances of significant decline in sizzling weather condition, said Abdul Rashid, Director, Pakistan Meteorological Department.
Talking to APP he said the light rain, that took place on Monday had occurred due to the low pressure over the Arabian Sea, could not bring much relief to the citizens.
According to the meteorologist, weather was changing on steady pace, almost every four hours, more-so because winds were getting stronger hence the rain forecast was also changing every day.
“There are all chances that Karachi may be hit by dust storm and rain very soon,” he said.
With slight change in weather conditions and day time temperature registered to have dropped to 36 degree to 38 degree Celsius from 42 degree Celsius on Monday, the number of heatstroke victims carried to hospitals since Monday also dwindled, said health department officials.
According to available data 200 heatstroke deaths were registered at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) since Saturday last while casualties reported from Civil Hospital – Karachi during last four days was 75, Lyari General Hospital 17, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and other KMC managed health facilities reported 87 and a cumulative total of heat struck deaths at different private sector hospitals came to 102.
Dr Salma Kauser, senior director (medical and health) of KMC, said more than 400 sunstroke patients were under treatment at ASH and other KMC-run hospitals, while 300 people had already recuperated and were discharged from the facilities.
JPMC authorities said more than 3000 people suffering from heatstroke and conditions like gastroenteritis were provided treatment at the facility.
Pakistan Army has not only provided needed medicines to JPMC, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Civil Hospital Karachi but on Tuesday also established a specialized and fully airconditioned facility for heat victims on JPMC premises.
The Pakistan Navy has also established heart stroke relief centres at PNS Shifa and PNS Rahat.
Sindh Rangers have set up 10 heatstroke centres in Karachi and two each in Hyderabad and Panno Akil respectively besides one each in Chhor, Jamshoro, Badin and Sehwan Sharif.
Each of these centres equipped with needed facilities to deal with sunstroke cases are being manned by doctors and paramedical staff.
Syed Salman Shah, Director General, Provincial Disaster Management Authority for Sindh (PDMA – Sindh) told APP that the agency has also activated its emergency helpline to reach out to affected people and launch a public awareness campaign about preventive measures.
” We are also engaged in establishing heatstroke centres in all government and private hospitals and basic health units besides arranging emergency medicines” he noted.
In reply to a question, he said PDMA was also working in coordination with emergency services including Edhi Foundation, Chhipa Welfare Association and Rescue “1122” for timely transportation of affected people to hospitals.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday expressing his sympathy with the victims of the sun-stroke and those who lost their lives said measures were being taken to address the situation on strong grounds.
Talking to journalists, he said the provincial government has approached the centre to get the issue of power shortage settled on permanent basis while issue of water scarcity is also being handled on emergency basis.
As for power shortage, he said Sindh Government as a policy has decided to get shut, on voluntary basis, all markets and commercial outlets across the province and particularly in its capital Karachi by 9 O’clock every evening.
He said a culture has to be cultivated to make use of day light and ensure careful use of electricity generated at heavy cost.
“We as a nation also need to be pragmatic in application of the blessings with equal care that our priorities are set right,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that working hours of all Sindh government offices have also been curtailed in the existent situation, however, all government hospitals and rescue centres will remain operational in order to cater to the people suffering from heat related conditions.
Mentioning that 15 more people have lost their lives on Tuesday due to the heat, he said government was absolutely committed to provide relief to the citizens.
Physicians expressing their deep concern about the situation urged citizens to also realize their responsibility and do take care of themselves in avoiding heatstroke.