Heatwave: KMC declares state of emergency in hospitals
Karachi: In view of taking pre-emptive course of action with regards to the expected heat wave in the metropolis, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has declared state of emergency at the municipal-run hospitals.
In a letter to health officials and medical superintendents of the KMC hospitals, Senior Director Health Services Dr Muhammad Ali Abbassi directed the staffers of health services, including ambulance service, to remain on high alert in case of any environmental emergency.
He also instructed the KMC rescue service, 1122, to remain on high alert, prepare contingency plans, while all the heads of hospitals were directed to ensure that all the staffers remain present on their duties during emergencies.
Director KMC Health Service said an emergency control room has been established at the KDA Poly Clinic, which would remain functional 24 hours a day and directed all the District Health Officers to remain in contact with the control room to deal with emergency-like situation in the city.
First Response Centres
Earlier, in a case hearing on April 13, petitioned by renowned singer Shehzad Roy and other civil rights campaigners seeking action against the responsible for failing to ensure supply of water and electricity during the days of heat wave in Karachi last year , the provincial government informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) that as many as 171 first response centers would be established in six districts of the city to counter predicted heat wave.
“As many as 17 first response centers with the facility of 80 beds in district East, 50 centers having 271 beds in West, 28 centers having 268 beds in South, 38 centers having 176 beds in Central, 22 centers having 44 beds in Malir and 16 centers having 40 beds in Korangi, have been decided to establish,” said Additional Attorney General Ghulam Mustafa Mahesar.
On Friday, the Sindh High Court had directed the provincial government to take precautionary measures throughout the province for the heatwave expected to hit Sindh in June; a report with respect to the measures taken was also to be submitted to the court within a fortnight. The directives came on petitions seeking constitution of a judicial commission to hold the federal and provincial authorities responsible of negligence for deaths of over 1,000 citizens during the heatwave that hit the city last year.
Petitioner Shahzad Roy and other social welfare organisations maintained that over 1,000 people died while over 40,000 suffered heat strokes during the extreme weather. The petitioners, however, maintained that despite several warnings of climate change the federal and provincial governments failed to grasp the intensity of the warnings, whereas a state of emergency was not declared in heatwave-hit areas until June 23.