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The Ministry of Health is warning people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to protect themselves amidst warmer temperatures forecast for this weekend.

On Friday, the mercury rose to 31.8 degrees Celsius, following a high of 31.0 degrees Celsius on Thursday and is expected to fall to 29 on Saturday. 

“According to the most recent report from our Met office, the forecast anticipates warmer-than-usual day and nighttime temperatures with the possibility of episodes of excessive heat during the upcoming months,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Health officials are advising residents of SVG, especially children, the elderly, persons with pre-existing conditions, pregnant women, construction workers and people who generally work outdoors to take all the precautionary measures to beat the heat. 

“Saharan dust episodes could become frequent; therefore, attention should be placed on monitoring updates to reduce the risk of exacerbation of respiratory illness in susceptible persons,” the ministry said.

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“As unusual weather conditions associated with climate change can affect our health, it is important for us to take precautionary measures to protect ourselves and our families.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment would like to offer a few reminders and tips that can help you beat the heat:

  1. Stay hydrated – The more we sweat the more water our bodies would need. Drinking water, coconut water and unsweetened beverages before you get thirsty can keep you ahead of the “low energy” feelings caused by dehydration.
  2. Avoid sweetened, sugary and alcoholic drinks – like beers and sodas which can actually cause dehydration.
  3. Wear light-coloured loose-fitting preferably cotton clothing- if your dress code permits. Dark synthetic clothing can actually absorb heat and make it harder for the body to stay cool.
  4. Keep doors and windows open where possible- this would allow cooling breezes to flow in and hot air to rise out.
  5. Reduce outdoor physical activity- including exercising during the hottest periods of the day. Plan your outdoor activities for the cooler times like early morning and late afternoon hours if possible.
  6. If you must go outside, walk in the shade, use broad-brimmed hats or umbrellas and apply sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more.

The ministry said it will continue to monitor the situation closely and update the public accordingly.