New heatwave leads to fatalities in Egypt

Friday 21/08/2015
Men cover their heads from the sun while riding on a motorcycle during a hot day in Cairo, on August 17, 2015.

Cairo - A sizzling heatwave is striking Egypt for the second time in ten days, killing more than 100 people and hospitalising many more.
The Health Ministry warned people against direct exposure to the sun, suggesting they take repeated showers and drink plenty of water.
The heatwave has led to the deaths of at least 106 Egyptians, most of them elderly. The fatalities included eight patients at an eastern Cairo psychiatric hospital. The Health Ministry said it would open an investigation into the deaths to see whether there had been negligence by hospital officials.
It added that 295 people had been admitted to various hospitals to be treated for heat-related conditions.
Temperatures reached 46 degrees Celsius in the country's south and topped out at 42 degrees elsewhere in mid-August.
The blistering temperatures have led some Egyptians to stay at home and not go to work, prompting debates over whether the law gives civil servants the right to take paid vacation time during intolerable weather conditions.
The heatwave also caused power cuts across the country, which had already been suffering a power supply deficit of 30%. The situation prompted the administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to speed up preparations the country's first nuclear power plant for the generation of electricity.
Egypt has also been trying to increase its use of renewable energies, including solar energy and wind power.
Solar energy companies have been actively encouraging Egyptian citizens to set up their own solar energy stations on their rooftops, while the government has been advising them to use energy-saving light bulbs.