Heat wave kills 10 in southern Pakistan

Heat wave kills 10 in southern Pakistan

Hundreds of heatstroke patients admitted to hospitals across Sindh province

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - At least 10 people were killed and hundreds of others admitted to hospitals on Wednesday due to a severe heat wave that has gripped Pakistan over the past week, authorities said.

All the deaths were reported from the southern Sindh province, where mercury touched a maximum of 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 Fahrenheit).

Six people lost their lives due to heatstroke in Hyderabad, the second largest city in Sindh, according to a statement by the Civil Hospital.

The deceased included two prisoners who were brought to the hospital from the district jail.

Over 150 heatstroke patients were also brought to the hospital.

Another four deaths were reported in the commercial capital Karachi, where over 200 heatstroke-hit patients were admitted to different hospitals across the metropolis.

According to the official figures released by the provincial government, some 22 heat wave-related deaths have been reported in the province this month.

However, local relief agencies claim the figure is higher as many such cases have gone unreported.

Faisal Edhi, the head of one of Pakistan's largest relief agencies Edhi Foundation, said his organization's morgues in Karachi have received three times as many patients as usual over the past week.

A majority of the deceased were presumed to be homeless or drug addicts.

"Normally, we receive 30 to 40 bodies daily but over the past week this figure is between 100 and 140," Edhi told Anadolu.

The foundation received around 500 bodies during last one week, mainly from the areas hit by power load-shedding, he added.

"Although, we cannot declare all these deaths as a result of heat wave unless doctors do that, however, a three-time increase in casualties over the past one week cannot be simply ignored," he added.

Pakistan has been in the grip of a severe heat wave with the temperature soaring to a staggering 53C (127.4 F) late last month in the Larkana district of Sindh.

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