Cáritas has distributed 1,800 blankets to those most in need. Thousands of children hospitalized with pneumonia due to frost. In January, although it is the coldest month, there is usually an average temperature of 26 degrees that drops to 12 degrees at night.
Rajshai () – At least 77 people have died due to the cold wave in Bangladesh, where persistent temperatures below 10 degrees are considered particularly low and abnormal. In the last 24 hours, 3,173 people have been hospitalized for respiratory infections, pneumonia and diarrhea. Cáritas has organized to bring help to those most in need.
According to local media, in the last two months 364,654 people have fallen ill with the flu throughout the country, and children and the elderly are the most affected. Medical experts explain that blood circulation decreases when it is very cold and weaker people get sick when they have difficulty regulating body temperature.
Children, whose number of hospitalizations is increasing at a worrying rate, are more prone to developing colds and pneumonia. According to Dr. Mozammel Haque, a professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib University, children between two months and two years of age mostly suffer from viral bronchitis.
Caritas Bangladesh, for its part, has taken measures to help with blankets for children, the elderly, pregnant women, widows and the poor in vulnerable conditions. David Hembrom, regional director of Caritas Rajshahi, told that 1,800 blankets had been distributed: “Due to the cold snap, children and the elderly are getting sick. They need help.” Other Caritas Bangladesh volunteers added that 3,500 blankets had been distributed in the Rajshahi and Dinajpur areas. The government and other local NGOs are also trying to bring relief to the population.
A moderate cold spell is currently affecting the districts of Rajshahi, Pabna, Dinajpur, Panchagarh, Nilphamari, Jashore, Chuadanga and Kushtia and the situation could continue, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said yesterday.
Temperatures between 8 and 10 degrees are considered a mild cold wave, those between 6 and 8 degrees a moderate cold wave, and those below 6 degrees an intense cold wave. The lowest temperature in the country was recorded yesterday in Jashore with 9 degrees Celsius. In January, although it is the coldest month, there is usually an average temperature of 26 degrees, with drops to 12 degrees at night.
Marginalized people in Bangladesh also fear the winter season as it brings difficulties in going to work. Winter in the country lasts almost three months but due to climate change it is becoming more intense.