With another heatwave expected by the end of May or beginning of June this year, public and private organisations of the metropolis have begun taking preemptive measures to deal with the impending natural disaster.
The Edhi Foundation, which hosts the largest cold storage morgue in the city, and the biggest ambulance fleet, has prepared graves for 300 people at its cemetery in Mowach Goth.
‘Need to stop rapid urbanisation to prevent more heatwaves’
“The graves have been prepared in advance to avoid what happened last year - when people were forced to take their loved ones from one graveyard to another due to shortage of space,” said Faisal Edhi, head of the organisation.
Meanwhile, the welfare organisation has also increased the capacity at its morgue in Sohrab Goth as well as the functioning of the cooling system. Now they have the capacity of storing 200 bodies, compared to the previous 120. A container has been placed near the morgue to provide additional space.
The organisation is also putting up heatstroke awareness stickers on their ambulances, training drivers on how to treat heatstroke patients and equipping vehicles with ice and water.
Government hospitals too claim to be preparing for the heatwave.
Civil Hospital, Karachi’s Dr Saeed Quraishi, said “Separate cooling areas which are air-conditioned would be established at the hospital.” He added all arrangements will be made to ensure heatstroke victims remain hydrated.
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s Dr Seemin Jamali said basic planning in the hospital has been completed. According to her, air conditioners and chillers have been installed in almost all of the hospital’s wards.
Regional Meteorological Centre Director Abdul Rashid predicts this year will be as hot as 2015, saying May will also be extremely hot. He said the heatwave can be expected in early June.
Explaining the natural disaster, he said a heatwave occurs when the average temperature is increased by five degrees for five days continuously, explaining that the average temperate differs from day to day. Rashid vowed that the centre will issue an advisory and public warning before the heatwave strikes this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2016.
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