‘Emergency’ plan has docs hot and bothered

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Mar 2016

PETALING JAYA: The Government’s decision to declare a “heatwave emergency” only when temperatures hit 40°C for seven consecutive days has medical practitioners hot under the collar.

Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia (MPCAM) vice-president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said he was puzzled.

“Our country’s average temperature is 31°C to 33°C. When there is a 5°C increase, the Government should already be declaring a heatwave emergency. They don’t need to wait till it hits 40°C,” he said.

Dr Raj believes schools should be closed if the temperature remains at the current temperatures of 37°C-38°C.

“It is better to close schools because most Malaysian schools are not air-conditioned,” he said, adding that students might suffer from heat exhaustion and cramps.

However, he was pleased that the Cabinet had approved a plan to set up a special committee to monitor this phenomenon.

Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Ashok Zachariah Phi­lip was unsure of the move.

“The Government should provide specific measures on what they will do instead of just declaring such a statement,” he said.

However, he did not see a need for schools to be closed because of the heatwave.

Dr Ashok advises Malaysians to stay indoors, drink enough water, wear protective clothing and use sunblock.

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