I write in reference to Taniya Dutta's article Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: Rescuers insert steel pipes to pull out trapped workers (November 14): with about 40 lives on the line at the time of writing, this is obviously a very distressing story. I hope and pray that the rescuers are successful in using the technology that is being made available to them to carry out an incredibly onerous but honourable task.
It is also important to point out that, while the state of Uttarakhand is beautiful and is culturally, religiously and strategically important to India, it is also prone to natural disasters. Environmental degradation, partly an outcome of over-construction, is making matters worse for the local populations. Authorities need to ensure that infrastructure and real estate development in the state is extremely well regulated.
K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India
Health is wealth
I write in reference to the article UAE study highlights 'public health emergency' of heart disease risk among Emiratis (November 15): the report indicates a concerning trend, particularly given its increased relevance in the post-pandemic context. There is evidence worldwide that heart disease is becoming more common, regardless of age, with young people falling prey to preventable disorders associated with older populations.
Even though the general population is aware of a number of risk factors – including physical inactivity, especially for those who have desk jobs, excessive alcohol use, poor food habits, obesity and shortened sleep cycles – some of these areas receive insufficient attention.
In the modern era, health care demands our utmost attention – right from an early age. Good health is one of the best gifts one may receive in life.
Ramachandran Nair, Muscat, Oman
The world must take dengue seriously
I would like to draw attention to the rapidly increasing dengue cases in Karachi.
Pakistan's storied port city has lately faced a number of challenges: from pollution to inadequate garbage disposal mechanisms to poor drainage and sewerage systems. These problems have turned Karachi's roads, streets and neighbourhoods into breeding grounds for mosquitoes, leading to a surge in dengue cases in recent weeks.
Dengue can be life threatening if people ignore the symptoms – ranging from fever to aches to nausea and vomiting. Anyone who has any of these symptoms needs to seek medical help as quickly as possible. In the meantime, it helps to take rest and stay hydrated.
Just as important is for people stay informed by following the government's awareness campaigns on television.
Eman Tahir, Karachi, Pakistan