Wed, July 07, 2010
City Guide > Shops & Services > Scorching heat ravages China

Heatwave too hot to handle for some

2010-07-07 03:52:55 GMT2010-07-07 11:52:55 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

A man collapsed and died in Beijing Railway Station square. Emergency doctors said it was probably the heat that triggered the man's heart attack.

A bus caught fire early Tuesday morning, the cause of the fire was attributed to the high temperatures.

Hospitals are reportedly overcrowded with patients suffering from problems caused by the heat over the past five days.

The temperature in Beijing hit a record 40.6 C while the ground temperature was 68.3 C on Monday.

Thanks to the high temperatures in recent days, the whole city is on "fire", which is proving a challenge for many citizens trying to go about their daily life and the capital's sunstroke prevention efforts.

"According to the International Standard, a high temperature usually refers to weather in which the peak temperature is above 35 C," Cui Jia, a spokeswoman with The General Hospital of Armed Police Forces, said.

"It can effect residents physically as well as psychologically, even triggering potential diseases or death."

The number of daily emergency cases treated at Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital has increased dramatically in the past few days.

Most of the patients feel dizzy or sick because of the heat, according to a release from the hospital.

While cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are more often reported among the elderly, intestinal diseases, mainly caused by improper dieting, has increased by 50 percent year on year. A dozen diseases, such as sunstroke, skin disease, even psychological heatstroke, are frequently reported in such high temperatures, according to Wang Lixiang, director of the Emergency Department of The General Hospital of Armed Police Forces.

The director suggests citizens drink more boiled water, if possible light saline water, to prevent kidney disease.

Iced drinks, which can unbalance the metabolism and cause stomachaches, are actually not recommended.

Citizens are suggested to wear sun protection lotion outside and avoid direct sunlight.

Light food, together with an optimistic attitude and regular exercise, are helpful in reducing mental and psychological nervousness and thus prevent psychological heatstroke.

Bus companies have introduced measures to cool drivers and passengers.

"The company provides water and tea for the driver as well as iced bottle water for them to take on the vehicle," said Jia Lei, a worker with the Second Branch of Beijing Bus Company.

"Whenever the vehicle is off work, the air-conditioning system is turned off to cool the engine. Otherwise, the engine overheats and stops working," he added.

As for workers who cannot avoid a walk to work or back home, many choose an popsicle as an easy means of cooling down.

"I never worried my popsicles would melt because I can sell them all in 20 minutes," said a woman holding a box of popsicles near Qianmen metro station.

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