5:16 pm - Tuesday May 24, 3132

Country reels under intense heat wave

The entire country continued to reel under scorching heat as the mercury shot up to 40.6 degrees Celsius today making it one of the hottest days of this year.

Meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) Fazlur Rashid told BSS that the country will get no respite from the hot weather because heat wave is likely to sweep over it during next few days.

He said today’s highest temperature 40.6 degrees Celsius was recorded at Rajshahi while 37.22 degrees Celsius in the capital, reports BSS.

Abnormally hot weather can be attributed to the absence of pre-Monsoon rains that 4-Water-Well_0commence in April, he said adding maximum temperatures in most parts of the country were recorded 4 to five degrees Celsius above than normal.

Fazlur said, “We expect rainfall is likely to occur in the country at the end of this week. After the rainfall we will get relief from intolerable hot weather.”

The people have been advised to stay indoors during the day, drink plenty of water, use an umbrella for shade and keep their heads and bodies covered to avoid sunstroke.

The searing heat intensified across the country with the mercury maintaining its upward trend. High daytime and night-time temperatures, high humidity, warm sunshine and a lack of winds are making lives miserable, especially of those who have to work under the blazing sun or live in non-air-conditioned houses.

Situation is even worse in rural areas, particularly in northern parts of the country, as people have to spend more time in their farmland during the blistering heat.

Roads, market places and busy places in both rural and urban areas were deserted as people preferred to remain indoors to avoid the scorching heat.

In Dhaka city, day labourers were seen facing difficulties to continue their works and had to take breaks frequently.

City dwellers now prefer to rush to their houses soon after completing their daily works. But it was a day for the vendors and shops to make brisk business selling sugarcane and other fruit juice and cold drinks and coconuts.

Severe heat wave is sweeping over Rajshahi and Kushtia regions, a Met Officer weather bulletin said today. Mild to moderate heat wave is sweeping over Barisal, remaining parts of Rajshahi and Khulna divisions and the regions of Dhaka, Tangail, Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalgonj, Rangamati, Chandpur, Noakhali, Dinajpur and Sayedpur and it may continue.

Day and night temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country.

Chief Of The Short Stay Unit Of The International Centre For Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) Dr Azharul Islam said, “Although there is no alarming trend Of diarrhoea during this summer season, a large number of people, mostly adult, is being admitted to ICDDR,B every day”

“As many as 450 to 500 diarrhoea patients were admitted to ICDDR,B per day in April,” he added.

“April was the hottest month compared to the past several summer seasons. But it is hard to say why the number of diarrhea cases is relatively low despite having hottest April in years. There might have climate change link to this contradictory relation to extreme heat wave and the water-borne disease,” Dr Azharul added.

Chances of food and water contamination are very high during this abnormal hot weather, he said adding, “We should take de-contaminated food and pure water to avoid diarrhoeal diseases.”

Generally, poor people are being affected by diarrhoea as they have little access to safe drinking water and fresh food, Dr Azhar said and added that in most cases, people of low-income group are affected by the disease due to contaminated food and water.

The state-run facility for children Shishu Hospital in the city also reported high rate of admission in the past several weeks because of the mild heat wave exposing minor children to severe health risks in particular.

“Parents are taking to the hospitals their small children with problems like high fever, cough and diarrhoea as the hot weather made them sick,” director of the facility Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain said.

Children in villages in particular were getting sick as they take prolonged dip in ponds and cannels and then start playing under burning sun while the quick change of temperature make them sick.