The number of deaths in Moscow has increased to 700 daily during the deadly summer with record-breaking heat and toxic smog smothering the Russian capital, the head of the Moscow healthcare department said on Monday.
Moscow region has seen abnormally hot weather and drought for over a month with two temperature records broken in June and ten records broken in July.
Heat has caused peat bogs fires nearby Moscow creating toxic smog throughout the capital. The smog pushed pollution levels to new 2010 highs on Saturday threatening people's health.
"Usually, 360-380 people die a day, while currently it is about 700," Andrei Seltsovsky said.
Russian Novaya Gazeta daily cited an unnamed Moscow medic as saying ambulance workers were not to hospitalize people except in urgent cases.
Moscow ambulances are practically working in war-time conditions. The ambulances are not equipped with an air conditioning system and the temperature inside the vehicles sometimes reaches 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). "Sometimes our doctors faint," Novaya Gazeta quoted the medic as saying.
"The daily routine is the most severe thing for us. None of the medical stations have drinking water for the emergency team. We buy it ourselves to water down the patients suffering the heat stroke," the doctor told the paper.
Novaya Gazeta said elderly people and the patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases are primarily at risk.
Meanwhile, meteorologists have no reassuring news, saying Moscow will be cleared from the smog no earlier than next week.
MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti)