KARACHI/ISLAMABAD/ QUETTA    -   Many children and wom­en are rapidly becoming more vulnerable as tens of thousands of people suffer from infectious and water-borne dis­eases in flood-hit coun­try as the total death toll from the unprecedent­ed flooding surpassed 1,500 on Friday. 

As flood waters begin to drain away, which of­ficials say may take two to six months in differ­ent areas, the flooded regions are becoming infested with diseases including malaria, den­gue fever, diarrhoea and skin problems, the Sindh provincial gov­ernment said in a re­port issued on Friday. It said more than 90,000 people were treated on Thursday alone in the province, which has been the hardest hit by the cataclysmic floods.

The report said that 17,977 cases of diar­rhoea and 20,064 skin disease cases were re­ported on Thursday, alongside 28 cases of dengue. A total of 2.3 million patients have been treated since July 1 in the field and mo­bile hospitals set up in the flooded region. The report confirmed 588 malaria cases with an­other 10,604 suspect­ed cases, in addition to the 17,977 diarrhoea and 20,064 skin disease cases reported on Thursday. A to­tal of 2.3 million patients had been treated since July 1 in the field and mobile hospitals set up in the flood­ed region.

Further, the National Disaster Man­agement Authority (NDMA) said 22 flood-related deaths were reported over the last 24 hours. Since June 14, 1,508 people died. In its daily situa­tion report, the NDMA also said nine individuals were injured in flood-re­lated incidents during the last 24 hours, taking the total to 12,758. Re­cent floods, brought by record mon­soon rains and glacial melt in north­ern mountains, have also swept away homes, vehicles, crops and livestock in damage estimated at $30 billion.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Friday met Japanese Ambassador Mitsuhiro Wada and apprised him of the devas­tation caused by the floods across the country, current relief efforts and the assistance required for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Sherry Rehman told the ambassador, “We are still re­ceiving new data. Some 1,508 people have lost their lives and more than 12,000 are injured. Over 300 bridg­es have been torn apart and near­ly 13,000 km of roads severely dam­aged, cutting off access to the areas drowned in flood waters.”

She said instant rescue and hu­manitarian relief had become an ur­gent task, as those who had survived, could not find dry land to pitch their tents. Federal Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said Friday that due to floods in Balochistan, the railways suffered a lot, however ef­forts are afoot to restore the suspend­ed railway routes as soon as possible. 

He was addressing a press con­ference here at Quetta after paying a visit to the areas where rail track was hit by the heavy downpour and floods. “Eleven kilometer portion of Dera Allah Yar-Jacababad track is in­undated in flood water, while Quet­ta Taftan rail track was affected by 104 places, he said and hoped that Taftan track will be restored by Sep­tember 30.

Saad Rafique said that the railway network had been badly affected by rains and floods across the country. “As soon as the flood water recedes, pace of repair work on the damaged tracks will be accelerated,”

However, he noted that various teams of Pakistan Railways, along with FC, NLC and Army were engaged in the restoration of the affected rail­way tracks.