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Heat in capital leads to heatstrokes

By Zou Shuo and Du Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-14 09:06
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A man douses himself to cool down in the Fengfeng mining area in Handan, Hebei province, on Thursday. HAO QUNYING/FOR CHINA DAILY

As Beijing grapples with what is turning out to be its hottest June ever, a growing number of people in the capital have experienced heatstroke, leading to calls for the public to take precautions and avoid outdoor activities around noon.

According to the Beijing Meteorological Center, the capital experienced its fourth consecutive day of temperatures higher than 35 C on Thursday, exceeding the average number of days of 35 C or more for the month of June, which is 3.9.

Meanwhile, the center renewed a yellow alert for lightning from 3 pm on Thursday to 5 am on Friday, with strong winds, sudden downpours and even hail expected.

China has a four-tier, color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe conditions, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

On Wednesday evening, the National Meteorological Center continued to issue an orange alert for high temperatures as multiple regions experienced sweltering heat.

The center predicted maximum temperatures will reach as high as 42 C in the provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Henan, and 39 C in Beijing, Tianjin and the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hubei.

According to Beijing News, the emergency medical hotline in the capital has received on average more than 20 calls a day about heatstroke since the start of the month.

Wei Jiaqi, who works for the Beijing Emergency Help Center, said elderly people, tourists and people who work outdoors are more likely to experience heatstroke.

Fu Yan, a doctor who works in the emergency department of Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, said the hospital has received patients with mild heatstroke and heat cramps, most of whom are seniors and outdoor workers.

People should take measures to protect themselves against the summer heat, which can cause a number of ailments including nausea, fatigue, convulsions, dehydration, liver and kidney failure, and even death, she said.

Human resources, health and disease control authorities in Beijing have conducted joint inspections of company work sites involving intense outdoor labor, including construction sites, utility areas and delivery service facilities, to make sure employers are making efforts to prevent heat-related ailments and protect their workers' health.

Xu Chengkai, director at a construction site managed by the China Construction Second Engineering Bureau, said there are about 1,800 people working at the site.

The company has conducted safety training for its workers so they know how to protect themselves against the heat, he said.

It has also arranged its work shifts so that laborers work outdoors in the morning and late in the afternoon, and work indoors or take a break in rest areas around noon, he said. The company also offers workers medicine to prevent heatstroke, he added.

Li Chengkai, 29, who works at a culture promotions company in Beijing, said he puts on sunscreen and carries an umbrella to block the sun — things he said white-collar workers must do as they walk around the city.

He also said he drinks plenty of water and eats watermelon every day. "Beijing is getting hotter earlier, and I guess people just need to learn to deal with the extreme heat," he said.

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