‘School timings, working hours to be altered if mercury levels spike’

Karachi:April 20:The Sindh government on Tuesday asked the educational and labour departments to closely monitor the weather situation in the coming summer, directing that in case of any severe heat wave, school timings and working hours for labourers should be altered accordingly.

During a meeting to review arrangements to deal with any emergency during the fast-approaching summer season, Sindh Chief Secretary Muhammad Siddique Memon directed the finance department to issue funds to various departments so that necessary arrangements could be made to deal with expected waves, while all the departments were asked to remain on a high alert during the summer season.

Authorities in Karachi claimed to have prepared a crisis management plan to deal with any emergency due to heat wave in the coming months with establishment of hundreds of early response centres and relief centres at various areas, increasing the capacity of public and private hospitals to deal with any disaster and ensuring uninterrupted supply of water and power.

“We have planned to establish 171 First Response Centres for the heat stroke patients at various places in Karachi. Of these, 50 would be established in District West, 28 in District South, 38 in District Central, 22 in District Malir, 17 in District East and 16 in District Korangi to facilitate the patients”, Karachi Commissioner Syed Asif Haider Shah told the meeting.

Chaired by the chief secretary, the meeting was attended by the secretaries of the health and coordination, the KMC administrator, all the divisional commissioners, senior officials of the K-Electric, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), SEPCO and the secretary for irrigation, Zaheer Hyder Shah.

The commissioner claimed that ambulances were also being arranged in coordination with various welfare organisations to be deployed at these First Response Centers, while private hospitals, including Aga Khan, Baqai, Indus, Liaquat National, Ziauddin and South City hospitals, were also being taken on board to become part of the crisis management plan.

He said the heat stroke patients would be given first aid at these First Response Centers, which would be equipped with doctors, paramedics, medicines, ice, cold water and fans and in case of any emergency, patients would be shifted to nearby public or private hospitals.

In addition to that, over 500 relief centres would also be established at various places in the city where cold drinking water and fans would be available so that people could be facilitated, he maintained.The news.