Sixty-one die in three-day heatwave in Egypt

A heatwave in Egypt has led to the death of 40 people and 187 others suffering, mostly elderly

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A three-day heatwave in Egypt has led to the death of 40 people and 187 others suffering, mostly elderly, a health ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

“We do not have a viral outbreak in Egypt. What we have is a heat wave that can cause death like any other country in the world,” Abdel Ghafar told Ahram Online, citing an example of a heat wave that killed over 1,000 people in India.

He added: “The ministry of health has been transparent since day one regarding the numbers of victims in the heat wave. If there is a viral outbreak, we will not hide it.”

The elderly and children are most likely to be affected as well as vulnerable people who suffer heart disease and high blood pressure, Abdel Ghafar said, calling on citizens to transfer any patient suffering from the symptoms of heatstroke -- especially if they have fainted -- to the nearest fever hospital.

On Tuesday, the interior ministry said three detainees in a police station died in custody due to the heat, over-crowding and a bad ventilation system.

Many in the Middle East are expected to experience an incredible heat wave this coming Thursday.

Some meteorological national centers in the region are warning their citizens to be ready for temperature’s that have rarely been recorded before.

The center of Meteorology and Seismology in Iraq, predicts that temperatures will exceed half the boiling point of water - 50 degrees - as early as next Thursday.

Other Arab centers issued statements predicting that temperatures will exceed 45 degrees in various countries in the region such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week.