LAHORE - As no significant rain giving system is approaching the country, the weather is likely to remain oppressive due to high temperature during the day and at nighttime. Jacobabad remained the hottest city where temperature rose to 50 degree centigrade and Lahore sizzled at 47 Celsius, making Wednesday the hottest day of the current summer.According to the experts, seasonal low lies over northern Balochistan and its adjoining areas. Tuesday’s trough westerly wave lying over Kashmir on Wednesday moved away northeastwards. The Meteorological Department has forecast mainly hot and dry weather for most parts of the country and dust raising winds for the plains. Persistent heat wave coupled with unscheduled outages have added to problems confronting people , reducing traffic on otherwise busy roads at noon and in the afternoon. In Sheikhupura and its adjoining areas were in the grip of scorching heat . As a result, Bashir, 65, professionally a vender, died due to hot weather in village Marh Balochan, some 55km away from city Sheikhupura. Similarly, two others namely Rasheed and his wife Sakina Bibi fainted in Kirtoo Village near Narang Mandi. Owing to unbearable heat they were working in the field and suffered sunstroke. They were removed to a nearby hospital. The prevailing heat wave persisting for the last several days have forced the people to leave their routine work and stay homes. Particularly, the schoolchildren’s are very much irked by the heat wave. Dozens of children reportedly got fainted and were provided first aid by their respective school administration in the city and rural areas. Their parents demanded early summer vacation. On the other hand, administration of private schools has refused to close their schools before June 15. The administration of these schools has threatened to remove the name of unattended children from their schools. Student Amjad of class 7th studying in city area at government school also fainted due to scorching heat. After recovery he told this scribe that more than 120 students sit in his one section where only one fan is installed. He said due to severe loadshedding there is no other source to get air and it is impossible for the students to stay in class rooms. The maximum temperature was recorded 46 degree. The suspension of electricity is also a drastic menace causing great inconvenience to people particularly peasants, students and laborers. Thin traffic on different roads of the city was witnessed while taking advantage of the situation, ice sellers has soared price of ice in city and its adjoining areas while unannounced loadshedding added the problems in different areas of the district. In HAFIZABAD, Following rapid rise in mercury and increase in the duration of loadshedding for the past one week, diseases are increasingly spreading in the city and during the past 36 hours more than 150 children suffered from stomach troubles and have been admitted to the DHQ Hospital.The hospital’s children ward has the capacity of only 24 beds, causing problems for the admitted children and their attendants. According to Child Specialist Dr. Muhammad Amjad, most of the children were suffering from gastro enteritis. Not only children but some aged persons were also admitted to the hospital due to scorching hot weather and other stomach-related diseases. The patients were experiencing difficulties due to lack of sufficient beds and medicines in the hospital, he added.According to experts, stomach-related ailments are partly due to hot weather and partly due to insanitary conditions and indifferent attitude of the TMA and health staff to prevent sale of ice-balls, unripe/over-ripe and cut fruits and uncovered edibles in the city. The TMA and health department should awake from slumber and take preventive measures to check the spread of stomach-related diseases from epidemic form. According to hospital sources, eight more children suffering from measles have been admitted in the hospital. During the past five months 167 children suffered from measles in the area. However, all were cured and no one died of the disease. During the past 24 hours eight children, Ali Hassan, Ibrahim, Faizan, Samra, Saddam, Hassan Ali and Eman were admitted in the hospital due to measles. Meanwhile, local citizens have called upon the authorities to start vaccination on war-footing against measles.  In Sialkot district, the temperature shot up to 46 degrees Celsius on Wednesday along with hot winds continuously blowing.All the city roads, bazaars, markets and business centres, wore a deserted look, as the people spent another day of agony while staying indoors preferably in the scorching hot day.There was no let-up in 20 hours long electricity loadshedding in Sialkot district. On the other hand, the people in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur, Satrah, Chawinda, Badiana and surrounding areas, spent a day of great ordeal.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 23-May-2013 here.