Stay safe, warn medics as heatwave descends

Oman Monday 10/June/2019 08:57 AM
By: Times News Service
Stay safe, warn medics as heatwave descends

Muscat: With a rise in the number of heatstroke cases as temperatures sizzle around 48 degrees Celsius, doctors have advised people to stay safe.
Dr Basheer, a senior internist and diabetologist at Badr Al Samaa Hospital in Ruwi, told Times of Oman that the number of patients coming to the emergency department suffering from various types of heat exposure related issues has increased.
“For about a month now, we have been receiving four to five people per day in our emergency department with all kinds of heat exposure issues like heat cramps, heat stroke and much more. The situation was worst during Ramadan as most of the patients were fasting and working outdoors.”
Temperature rising
The temperature in the Sultanate is on the rise and has already topped 48 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country as of Monday.
Experts have advised both citizens and residents to be cautious and stay hydrated to avoid falling ill.
According to the meteorology department at the Public Authority of Civil Aviation (PACA) Ibri recorded the highest temperature in the country at 48 degrees Celsius while the highest temperature in Buraimi and Rustaq stood at 47 degrees Celsius on Monday.
Haima recorded 46 degrees Celsius whereas Nizwa, Sur and Ibra recorded a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. It was then followed by Muscat and Suhar at 43 degrees Celsius and Khasab at 42 degrees Celsius.
Masirah recorded a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, Salalah 33 degrees Celsius while Saiq recorded the lowest temperate on Monday, June 10, at 30 degrees Celsius.
Yesterday PACA announced that the temperature across the Sultanate is expected to rise and could reach up to 49 degrees Celsius over the next three days.
In a statement online, the authority said: “It is likely that temperatures will rise over most areas of the Sultanate starting on Monday, June 10, and for the next three days as a result of north-westerly winds in the governorate of Buraimi, Al Dhairah, Al Wusta and adjacent areas of Al Hajar Mountains, the highest temperature being between (47-49 degrees C) during the day.”
Oman’s meteorology authority also added that certain heat related symptoms could be expected due to the increase in temperatures.
“Sunburn and heat stress incidents and other symptoms associated with high temperatures increase during the summer, especially since many of the jobs and field activities require workers to be exposed to the sun and high temperatures.”
As such, PACA has issued guidelines for people to follow during high temperatures in order to avoid any heat stress symptoms.
“Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Organise working hours so that you are rested when the temperature is at its peak. Workers and supervisors should be trained in how to deal with heatstroke. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight, especially in the afternoon,” an official at PACA said.
Doctors in the capital have also advised people especially those working outdoors to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.
“The rise in the temperature affects people working outdoors more. In that case, they have to stay hydrated, and drink plenty of water. Now, by staying hydrated for outdoor workers, I mean they should drink more water with salt as it helps to recover the salt lost while sweating,” Dr. Basheer said.
He added that everyone must stay hydrated as it is extremely important. Those working outdoors should drink at least three litres of water every day and a minimum of two litres should be consumed by people who work indoors.
“People can use ORS powder or even add lemon and salt to the water and take it to work. Secondly, there are people who are new to Oman and have no idea how to take care of themselves during the summer. Those living in the country for a while now have more or less become accustomed to the weather so companies should organise group education programmes in camps or at sites so the newcomers will get an idea,” the doctor said.
Dr. Basheer added that summer diseases like diarrhoea and Hepatitis A are very common among people in the Sultanate but maintaining good hygiene could help fight infection.
“Everyone needs to practice good hygiene, especially hand hygiene. We always promote hand hygiene because if you do a proper hand wash, 90 per cent of diseases can be prevented. People especially in catering business should thoroughly observe this regime,” Dr. Basheer recommended.