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Govt issues alert as Punjab braces for intense heat.

LAHORE / BHAKKAR -- The Punjab Health Department has issued a heatstroke alert due to the extraordinary increase in temperatures across Punjab. Locals have been advised to stay home, drink lots of water, stay in cold and ventilated places and use umbrellas when going out.

The alert mentioned that keeping cool and hydrated were essential to combat the blazing heat. The department said people can suffer from dehydration and such patients should be shifted to the nearest hospital.

Health experts also advised locals to wear light-coloured clothes, avoid physical activities in the hot weather and consume maximum liquids. They urged the use of ORS as well to prevent an electrolyte imbalance.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Dr Rasheed Khan said regular awareness campaigns would be initiated so that the people can take precautionary measures to protect themselves from heatstroke. 'Citizens need to be most careful,' he added.

Stocking up

Meanwhile, as the temperature in the provincial capital rose, stocks of necessary medicines and medical equipment were replenished on Monday at all government hospitals to protect locals from heatstroke and viral gastroenteritis.

The Punjab government has also launched a public awareness campaign which advises people to protect their health and save themselves through precautionary measures.

In the context of the negative effects of climate change and the prolonged hot weather, elderly people, women and children have been advised to avoid unnecessary commuting. Other citizens have been advised to cover their neck, head and face when outside their homes.

On the other hand, in order to provide immediate medical assistance to people who are suffering from heatstroke or viral gastroenteritis at government hospitals, stocks of various medical facilities, including drips, injections and others, have been increased.

Heads of all government hospitals have been instructed to provide incoming patients with immediate medical assistance instead of referring them to other medical facilities. Punjab Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid urged locals to keep their homes clean to protect themselves and others from viral gastroenteritis.

She added that the use of daily items such as utensils should be minimised and all instruments must be hygienic. 'Wash your hands every time after using the toilet.' It is also advised to wash your hands when preparing food, whenever one coughs or sneezes and when one is caring for the sick. She further said that in this hot weather, it is advised for all citizens to increase their consumption of salt and water in order to remain hydrated.

Blazing Bhakkar

Like other cities of Punjab, Bhakkar is also under the grip of severe heat. The intensity of the weather reduced due to the recent rainfall in last few days, but the recent heatwave left locals reeling.

Bhakkar is mainly a desert area and is included in the cities of the country where people are most affected by the temperature. At its hottest, the region can touch between 40 and 47 degrees Celsius on a daily basis.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Medical Association President and Mankera Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Malik Khalid Javed Asran said if the temperature of the human body touches 42 degrees Celsius, chances of death can increase up to 90%.

Therefore, it is best to take precautionary measures. Precautions include avoiding meat, egg, pickles, carbonated drinks, spices, spinach and fenugreek etc. He also said to avoid wearing colours such as black, blue, red, maroon, purple and other dark clothes.

He advised avoiding travel between 12pm and 4pm when the heat is at its peak. He urged people to stop wearing completely closed shoes and to consume pumpkin, round gourd, turnip, radish, carrots, cucumber and milk. The doctor said that people suffering from lungs ailments should try to drink at least six to eight litres of water a day and keep a check on their blood pressure.

'Anyone can be hit by heatstroke. If anyone's health deteriorates, move them to the hospital immediately.' He maintained heatstroke is a dangerous condition resulting from the hot weather, especially as moisture reduces
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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jun 11, 2019
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