Dhaka, Jan 5 (UNB) – The sweeping cold wave, accompanied by dense fog, is making the life harder for the residents of Panchagarh, Chuadanga and Chapainawabganj districts.
According to the Met office here, the mercury dropped below 6 degrees Celsius in recent days, making it hard for locals to move out, even during the daytime, as dense fog hides the sun reducing the visibility.
Elderly people and children are the worst sufferers, as the cold wave has hit them hard with various diseases.
Hospitals in the districts, known for their poor manpower and inadequate accommodations, are struggling to deal with the growing number of patients affected with cold-related diseases like diarrhoea, pneumonia and respiratory problem.
The country’s lowest temperature was recorded in Panchagarh over the last six days. This season’s lowest temperature was recorded 5.1 degrees Celsius at Tetulia in the district on December 31.
Many people are staying home due to the bone-chilling cold for lack of warm clothes.
Rahidul Islam, acting officer of Tetulia Met office, said the Met office recorded 5.9 degrees Celsius of temperature in the district on Friday morning which is the lowest in the country.
Suleman, a rickshaw-puller, said, “I couldn’t go out with my rickshaw for the last 5-6 days due to the shivering cold.”
Panchagarh municipality mayor Touhidul Islam said, “We’ve already distributed some warm clothes among the poor, but every day people are crowding here to receive warm clothes.”
Sabina Yasmin, the deputy commissioner of the district, said some 24,000 blankets have been distributed so far and a letter has been set to the ministry concerned seeking more blankets.
According to the Met office, a severe cold wave is sweeping Panchagarh district in Rangpur division, while a mild to moderate cold wave is sweeping Rajshahi and the rest parts of Rangpur and the regions of Tangail, Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Satkhira, Jashore, Kushtia, Sreemangal, Bhola and Barishal, and it may continue for the next few days.
The Met office recorded 5.9 degrees Celsius of temperature in Panchagarh on Friday.
Huge patients are flocking to hospitals here every day to receive treatment for cold-related diseases.
“Some 50 patients affected with diarrhoea, pneumonia and asthma received treatment at Adhunik Hospital in Panchagrah in the last couple of days,” Dr Pratik Kumar Banik, Resident Medical Officer (RMO) of the hospital, told the UNB correspondent when he went to visit the hospital.
In Chapainawabganj, patients are crowding Sadar Hospital every day and many of them are receiving treatment on the hospital floor for lack of accommodation.
Nadim Sarkar, the RMO of the hospital, said more than 300 patients affected with cold-related diseases received medical services from the hospital over the last one week.
Chuadanga Civil Surgeon Dr Khairul Alam said huge patients, particularly affected with pneumonia, cough and diarrhea, have been coming to the hospital for the last few days.
Apart from triggering the health problems, the winter has also hit hard the incomes of the poor -- particularly the day-labourers and rickshaw-pullers.
“I didn’t find any work in the town in the last three days,” said Abdul Jalil, a day-labourer from the Sadar upazila’s Jalshuka village.
Sabdul Mondol, another day-labourer, said employers are declining to provide works due to the severe cold.
Samadul Haq, a meteorologist at Chuadanga Met office, said he hoped the weather would improve in the coming days.
The prevailing weather is proving to be too much for many, particularly those living on the streets and even those in thatched houses for lack of warm clothes.
Gopal Chandra Das, the deputy commissioner of Chuadanga, said the administration has received thousands of warm clothes. “Some of them (warm clothes) have already been distributed among the destitute and the rest will be distributed within 2-3 days,” he added.