Health authorities have warned of a scorching heatwave forecast for the coming days and urged the public to stay out of the sun, keep hydrated, and take care of the vulnerable. 

In a statement on Friday, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate said that over the next few days, Malta will be experiencing a heatwave with daily maximum temperatures forecasted to be between 35°C and 37°C.

Temperatures feeling as high as 39°C are forecast for Sunday, according to the Meteorological office.

This is due to what is known as a heat dome which settled across the country from Thursday, bringing elevated temperatures for at least four days. 

Weather models are showing maximum temperatures of 36°C, some even 39°C, between Thursday and Sunday and possibly beyond, the Met Office said.

The authorities on Friday urged the public to:  

  • • Keep out of the heat by avoiding any unnecessary exposure to the sun during hot periods of the day usually between 11 am and 4 pm
  • Stay cool by staying in the coolest parts of the home and work.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler.
  • Drink plenty of water to replace fluids lost through sweating and eat more cold food such as salads.
  • Avoid dehydrating liquids. Alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks can make the situation worse.
  • Wear light loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day, either opt for indoor physical activity or carry out your physical activity in the morning when it is coolest.
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen, and wear a hat if you must go out in the heat.
  •  Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
  •  Seek medical advice if you have any concerns. Look out for vulnerable or elderly neighbours, family or friends who may be isolated and unable to care for themselves and make sure they are able to keep cool during the heatwave.
  • Will I be safe? 

The UV index is forecast to rise to 11 this week, meaning there is a very high risk of harm on unprotected skin. 

Health experts advise people to wear UV-blocking sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing. 

People should stay inside near midday, reduce their time in the sun and avoid it between 10 am - 2 pm.

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