Virus heightens heatwave health risks, UN warns

Latest News

Virus heightens heatwave health risks, UN warns

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP)— The UN's weather agency warned Tuesday that COVID-19 would amplify the risks of what was expected to be a record-breaking hot summer in the northern hemisphere.

The World Meteorological Organization urged governments to make plans to keep people safe during heatwaves without spreading the novel coronavirus.

This year is expected to be "another record-breaking heat season in the northern hemisphere", WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis Kapp told a virtual briefing in Geneva.

"We're currently experiencing one of the hottest years on record.

"COVID-19 amplifies the health risks of hot weather for many people, and it complicates the task of managing it."

The United Nations agency teamed up Tuesday with non-governmental organisations to call for stronger preparations to keep people safe in hot weather while keeping a lid on the pandemic.

The information series, which covers topics such as ventilation, vulnerable populations and personal protection equipment, is being issued "to alert decision-makers to try to help them manage the duel challenge of heat and COVID," said Nullis Kapp.

In some places, what would typically be good advice during a heatwave -- such as heading for air-conditioned indoor public spaces -- runs counter to public health guidance due to the coronavirus crisis.

India is currently experiencing a widespread heatwave, with temperatures reaching 47.5 degrees Celsius (117.5 Fahrenheit) in the city of Churu in the northwestern Rajasthan state.

"India is experiencing a heatwave, and this is at the same time as India is relaxing the lockdown measures," said Nullis Kapp.

"Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and more intense because of climate change. This is putting an increasing stress on human health and human health systems," she added.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon