Cold wave hits hard marginal people


THE cold wave now sweeps over the country may continue one or two more days, the Met office said. Presently, country's north and northeastern districts, including Ishwardi, Kurigram, Panchagarh, and Kushtia are facing the bite of harsh cold. The lowest temperature has been fluctuating in between 9 and 9.5 degrees Celsius. Even in Dhaka, the mercury dropped to 13.6 degrees Celsius. Most parts of the country remains shrouded by mild to dense fog since midnight. People are taken off guard by the severity of this year's cold waves. However, the easy availability of winter clothes, the poorer people could make a resistance against the cold attack. But the problem lies with their shelters, which are mostly ramshackle and not strong enough to keep cold at bay. The cold hits hard especially the farm hands, day labourers, operators of non-mechanised vehicles and many vulnerable people. Besides, the repeated attacks of cold coupled with a prolonged foggy weather have left a damaging impact on business. The scenario is all the same in the areas vulnerable to winter.
Winter this year descended on the city with a number of afflictions, coming in the form of diseases. Normally, the cold season brings with it some common health hazards. This year these ailments appeared to have turned serious. When the normally-occurring pneumonia, diarrhoea, respiratory and bronchial diseases lead to large-scale child deaths, the issue cannot be taken perfunctorily. The elderly population will suffer mainly from asthma. The Health Emergency Operations Centre and Control Room at the Health Directorate Department informed that 302,710 patients were attacked with cold related diseases from November 1 to January 5.
The hospitals and clinics should have adequate preparations to provide healthcare to cold-hit children and elderly people round the clock. The government and the affluent section of the society must come forward with medicine, warm clothes and other relief materials for the marginal people during the winter.