|Customers at an electronics shop on Le Duan Street. The ongoing heat wave has driven Hanoians to shops selling electric fans.The National Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre predicts temperatures in major cities like Ha Noi, Hue and Da Nang will remain high in the coming days. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HA NOI (VNS) — The National Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre yesterday said the country's northern and central regions would continue to experience dry and hot weather through Sunday at least.
It also said the ongoing heat wave has worsened drought conditions in the central provinces of Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan and Quang Tri, considerably increasing forest fire risks.
Temperatures in major cities like Ha Noi, Hue and Da Nang will remain high in the coming days, with the mercury reaching 39-43 degree Celsius, the centre said.
In related news, firefighters in the central province of Thanh Hoa managed to bring a wildfire in the districts of Hau Loc and Hoang Hoa under control early yesterday morning, almost two days after it broke out.
Local authorities were still maintaining a force of more than a thousand people on high alert to prevent the fire from rekindling, as dry and hot weather continued to scorch the northern and central regions.
As reported by Viet Nam News earlier, the wildfire broke out around 9am on Wednesday, threatening some 100ha of pine forest in the area.
More than two thousand people, including fire fighters and local residents, were dispatched to put out the fire. Firefighting forces had to create buffer zones to reduce the intensity of the fire and protect the rest of the forest.
This week's heat wave has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of child patients at the central Da Nang Ob-Gyn ND Pediatric Hospital.
Since the beginning of the week, the hospital has received an average of 600 child patients a day, a 30-35 per cent increase over previous months.
"Hot and humid weather during summer encourages bacteria growth and the disease transmission. In addition, under extreme heat conditions, the human body is vulnerable to exhaustion, dehydration and weakened immune systems, especially children under the age of two," said Le Thanh Cam, Deputy Head of the hospital's Emergency Department.
Cam said respiration problems commonly found among children during summer included pneumonia, bronchitis, rhinitis and sore throats. He advised parents to avoid exposing children to sudden changes in temperature, like leaving an air-conditioned room to extreme outdoor heat.
The incidence of hand-foot-mouth disease among children has also been on the rise with an average of 60-70 child patients being diagnosed every day during the heat wave.
Doctors have advised that parents maintain good hygiene, keep children properly hydrated along with a healthy diet, avoid eating food sold by street vendors. They have also said that children should be taken to hospitals and medical centres as soon as they show any abnormal health symptoms.
On the same day, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Chairman of the National Committee on Forest Protection and Development Cao Duc Phat issued an emergency statement ordering localities across the country to assemble task forces to patrol and supervise areas with high risk of wildfire.
He also called for co-operation from the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Defence to maintain manpower and machines in a state of readiness in order to quickly response to wildfire emergencies. — VNS