Heatstroke kills in Pakistan, welfare non-profit says

By Daniel Uria  |  May 21, 2018 at 8:41 PM
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May 21 (UPI) -- At least 65 people have died from heatstroke as the result of a heatwave in Pakistan, the head of a non-profit social welfare program said Monday.

Edhi Foundation head Faisal Edhi said 114 bodies were brought to the foundation's morgues in the Korangi and Sohrab Goth areas of Karachi throughout the past three days, including 65 deaths due to heatstroke, according to family members.

"On normal days, the Korangi mortuary receives six or seven bodies, whereas the last few days have seen 20 to 25 bodies per day. The flow at the Sohrab Goth facility has doubled from 20 bodies to 40 in a single day," Edhi said.

The deceased range in age from 6 to 78 years old and most of the heatstroke victims died in their homes as the maximum temperature remained at 111 degrees, according to Edhi.

"People did not get medical help on time, which resulted in their death," he said.

Sindh Health Secretary Dr. Fazlullah Pechuho disputed Edhi's claims, stating hospitals in Karachi hadn't received a single heatstroke patient over the past three days.

"Only doctors and hospitals can decide whether the cause of death was heatstroke or not. I categorically reject that people have died due to heatstroke in Karachi," he said.

Pakistan Meteorological Department issued an alert Sunday warning that "hot to very hot weather is likely to prevail in Karachi" and Mayor Waseem Akhtar urged residents to remain indoors.

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