Over 1,000 people have now died from heatstroke or related medical problems, a majority of them poor and elderly people without access to air-conditioning. The escalating problems from the heat wave prompted the government to declare a public holiday on Wednesday so people could stay indoors, according to the New York Times, and though the resumption of sea breezes from the country’s southern coast contributed to a lowering of the overall temperature and a reduction in the number of fatalities, there are still thousands more undergoing treatment at various hospitals across the region.
The Pakistani army and a paramilitary force, the Rangers, have also stepped in, setting up relief camps for heatstroke patients, while various nongovernment and volunteer organizations have been distributing water and medicine outside hospitals. The Pakistan government continued to face the nation’s ire over what critics call its inadequate preparation for and response to a devastating heat wave sweeping the southern Sindh province. Opposition lawmakers slammed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ruling party in Parliament over the repeated power cuts and water shortages that have considerably worsened the crisis.