As temperatures soar, at least 65 people have died in different areas of Karachi from heatstroke, Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation told DawnNews TV on Monday.
According to Faisal, 114 bodies were brought to the Edhi Foundation's morgues in Karachi's Korangi and Sohrab Goth areas in the past three days, out of which at least 65 had died from heatstroke. Most of the citizens who died from heatstroke were residents of Landhi and Korangi, Faisal said.
He added that most heatstroke victims had died at their home. The ages of people who succumbed to the ongoing heatwave in Karachi varied from six to 78 years, he said.
"People did not get medical help on time, which resulted in their death," he said.
Highlighting the magnitude of the crisis caused by the severe heat, Faisal said that the morgue in Korangi receives around 10-11 bodies per day. However, since Saturday evening, the morgue had received 34 bodies, while the morgue in Sohrab Goth had received 30 bodies.
Most of the victims, Faisal told DawnNews TV, had expired while going about doing daily chores.
Attempts to independently verify Faisal Edhi's claims proved inconclusive, as some of the families who lost their loved ones attributed the deaths to pre-existing ailments or other causes while hospital sources declined to comment.
However, Sindh Health Secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho rejected the notion that any of the deceased died due to heat stroke in Karachi.
“Only doctors and hospitals can decide whether the cause of death was heat stroke or not. I categorically reject that people have died due to heat stroke in Karachi, Dr Pechuho said.
Hospitals in Karachi have not received a single heat stroke patient during the last three days, the health secretary said.
Temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius are expected to persist in Karachi until May 23 as the city swelters in the grip of a heatwave.
On Sunday, the Pakistan Meteorological Department issued an alert for the city, saying that "hot to very hot weather is likely to prevail in Karachi". A maximum temperature of 44˚C was recorded at 3pm in the city the same day.
Meanwhile, Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar urged residents to stay indoors during the day to avoid heatstroke.