Multan: At least 20 people died of heat stroke in various parts of south Punjab on Thursday-Friday.
Health Secretary Jawad Rafique said that the department had received reports about patients coming in at various hospitals with symptoms of heat-stroke.
He said that five people, including 6-year-old Sabira Bibi, four-year-old Naveed, 45-year-old Manzoor alias Joora, Muhammad Ishaq and Qadeer had died in Okara due to heat stroke.
He said two people had died in Rahim Yar Khan and one each in Kot Addu, Muzaffargarh, Kehror Pucca, Bahawalnagar, Alipur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sahiwal, Khanewal, Vehari, Mailsi, Sadiqbad, Multan and Muzaffargarh. In Kehror Pucca, the victim was a 40-year-old public school teacher named Iqbal Mai.
Nishtar Hospital Medical Superintendent Ashiq Malik told newsmen that scores of people had been affected by the heat wave.
“People should not leave homes without covering their heads. They must should ensure regular hydration,” he said.
“At least 300 people have come in with symptoms of gastroenteritis. These patients are mostly from rural areas. Many had been working in the fields when they fell ill.”
A spokesman of the Met Department said the heat wave would persist for three more days.
“The maximum temperature recorded in Multan was 49 degrees Celsius on Friday. Temperatures are expected to rise over the next few days.” He urged citizens to remain indoors.
Scorching temperatures: School timings set to be revised
As the region reels from an unrelenting heat wave, the School Education Department (SED) has proposed to reschedule school timings.
A notification has been issued in this regard. The development will have no impact on summer vacations which will commence and conclude in accordance with directions circulated earlier.
An SED official said a summary on the proposed tweaking of school timings had been formulated by the department. He said school timings would be revised to 7:30am to 11am. The official said the summary had been forwarded to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for approval. He said the directive was expected to come into force from May 23 onwards. The All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation (APPSF) has endorsed the move. In a statement issued on Friday, the federation announced the revised timings—set to be observed across its affiliated schools nationwide—including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). APPSF president Kashif Mirza said the move had been taken to thwart any untoward ramifications due to harsh weather conditions. The APPSF would announce the summer vacation schedule for all affiliated schools nationwide next week, the statement also revealed.