At least 65 people died of heatstroke in Pakistan’s Karachi city over past three days during the Holy month of Ramazan, media reports said, amid fears the death toll could rise as the temperatures soar. The temperature hit 44 degrees Celsius yesterday and the heatwaves coincided with the month of fasting when most of the Muslims do not eat or drink during daytime. Nearly 114 bodies were brought to the Edhi Foundation’s morgues in Karachi’s Korangi and Sohrab Goth areas in the past three days, out of which at least 65 had died from heatstroke, Faisal Edhi, who runs the foundation, was quoted as saying by the Dawn News.
The Foundation operates morgues and an ambulance service in Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi. Most of the citizens who died from heatstroke were residents of Landhi and Korangi, Faisal said. He added that most heatstroke victims had died at their home. The ages of people who succumbed to the ongoing heatwave in Karachi varied from six to 78 years, he said. “People did not get medical help on time, which resulted in their death,” he said.
Highlighting the magnitude of the crisis caused by the severe heat, Faisal said that the morgue in Korangi receives around 10-11 bodies per day. However, since Saturday evening, the morgue had received 34 bodies, while the morgue in Sohrab Goth had received 30 bodies. However, Sindh Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho rejected the notion that any of the deceased died due to heat stroke in Karachi, the report said.
“Only doctors and hospitals can decide whether the cause of death was heat stroke or not. I categorically reject that people have died due to heatstroke in Karachi, Pechuho said. Meanwhile, Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar urged residents to stay indoors during the day to avoid heatstroke.