Egyptian Cairenes surviving heat peak at 2 p.m. on Wednesday May 27, 2015 (Photo: Marina Barsoum)
Nineteen people died Monday and 92 others were hospitalised with heat exhaustion as sweltering temperatures continue to batter Egypt, the health ministry said, driving the death toll of this week's heatwave to at least 40.
Eleven people died in the capital city Cairo alone, where the day’s temperature hovered above 37 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit).
Three others died in a mental health hospital in Nile Delta's Qalyubia, three in the southern province of Sohag, one in Upper Egypt's Luxor, and another in Giza, the ministry said in a statement.
Ninety-two people were admitted to the hospital after suffering from heat exhaustion and 70 of those were in Cairo, the statement added.
Twenty-one people died on Sunday after succumbing to heat stroke as a result of temperatures that reached highs of 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit), according to the health ministry's figures.
Meteorological officials said that temperatures in the capital and other parts of the country were higher than averages this time of the year by four to five degrees.
Elevated humidity levels have compounded the effects of high temperatures on citizens.
The Egyptian Metrological Authority spokesman reported that the heatwave is expected to persist throughout the country at least until mid-august.
On Tuesdays, highs are forecasted to reach 38 Celsius degrees in Cairo.
The ministry warned that the elderly, infants, and children are most vulnerable to sunstroke.
It called on Egyptians to avoid going out in the sun. People are advised to wear hats and drink plenty of water or juice throughout the day to stay hydrated.