The Iranian government has announced Wednesday and Thursday this week will be public holidays because of unprecedented heat,  advising the elderly and people with health conditions to stay indoors.

Iran PressIran news: The decision came after Iran's Meteorological Organization forecasted temperatures exceeding 40°C in many cities and nearly 50ºC in the southwest.

"The cabinet agreed to the Health Ministry proposal to declare Wednesday and Thursday public holidays all over the country to protect public health," government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said.

Bahadori Jahromi said the decision was taken because of "unprecedented heat" sweeping the country.

The Health Ministry also warned of the risks of heatstroke from overexposure to the Sun and urged people to stay indoors between 10 am and 4 pm.

Ministry spokesman Pedram Pakain described the number of heat-related illnesses in recent days as "alarming".

In June, Iran changed summer working hours so government employees could start earlier, to save electricity in offices when temperatures peak.

The south-eastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan has been among the hardest hit by the heatwave.

July was probably the world's hottest month on record, based on an average of global temperatures, according to scientists.


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