Lowest 7°C temperature recorded in Kurigram, Panchagarh Sunday
“How can poor people like us afford any winter clothes when there is no income in the household?” Asiya Bewa shivered in the cold as she uttered the words with great difficulty.
Much like this old woman, who is a resident of Damal village in Raiganj union under Nageshwari upazila, many elders and children of Kurigram’s char and rural areas are suffering from the ongoing cold wave for the lack of winter clothes.
With winter in full swing, the temperature in the district has been decreasing for the last few days. The district recorded the lowest temperature in the country for the second consecutive day yesterday.
According to the Civil Surgeon's Office, the number of diarrhoea and pneumonia patients in the hospital has been increasing in the last few days.
Mamunur Rashid, a resident of Dudhkumar River basin, said most of the people in their village are day labourers. “It has become almost impossible for them to go out to work in the cold. In such a situation, they need to be given winter clothes.”
According to the Disaster Management Branch of the district administration, 35,000 blankets and 9,000 packets of dry food have been allotted in 9 upazilas of the district.
Meanwhile, in Panchagarh, the cold wind starts to blow from the north after midday and thick fog falls overnight.
Ordinary people are suffering due to the increase in the severity of winter. The hardest-hit people in the district are day labourers, rickshaw-van drivers, and tea workers. These hard-working people are facing great difficulty in going to work in cold mornings.
Panchagarh Modern Sadar Hospital Paediatrician Monwarul Islam said: “In the last 24 hours, 11 children have been admitted for diarrhoea and respiratory diseases. He advised taking care of children and old people at this time including wearing warm clothes and drinking hot water.”
Panchagarh Additional Deputy Commissioner Azad Jahan said: “No new winter clothes have been allocated for the district. There is no stock at present. However, Tk30 lakh has been allocated for blankets. The money has been sent to five Upazila Nirbahi Officers.”
A mild to moderate cold wave, the first one of the season, is sweeping over the country, disrupting normal life to people mostly in the northern districts.
The lowest temperature of the country was recorded at 7.0°C at Rajarhat in Kurigram and Tetulia in Panchagarh on Sunday, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).
Dhaka’s minimum temperature was recorded 13.4° C, it said.
A mild to moderate cold wave is sweeping over Rangpur division and the regions of Gopalganj, Sitakunda, Feni, Sreemangal, Pabna, Badalgachhi, Jessore, Kumarkhali, Chuadanga, Barisal and Bhola and it may continue.
Night temperature may rise slightly and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country.
The country’s highest temperature was recorded in Teknaf with 28.6°C on Sunday.
Ridge of sub-continental high extends up to West Bengal and adjoining western part of Bangladesh. Seasonal low lies over South Bay.
The weather may continue to remain dry over the course of the cold spell across the country.
Moderate to thick fog may occur at places over the river basins of the country and light to moderate fog may occur elsewhere over the country during midnight to morning.
Winter and Covid-19
Experts have warned that the deadly virus may hit Bangladesh even harder in the winter.
When the country is seeing an increase of Covid-19 cases, it will be difficult to curb the spread of the virus during the winter. Elderly people and children are the most vulnerable to the deadly virus in cold weather.
Experts fear that people may become very susceptible to coronavirus like other respiratory viruses and flu-like diseases during the winter due to low humidity, less sunlight, mild vitamin D deficiency and impaired immunity.
“Many people in Bangladesh suffer from common cold problems caused by four other coronaviruses rather than Covid-19, but those are self-preventive viruses. So, if the Covid-19 and other coronavirus affect people together during the winter the situation may deteriorate sharply. Though this is only an assumption, we should remain alert,” Dr ASM Alamgir, principal scientific officer of the IEDCR told UNB.
Bangladesh’s Covid-19 fatalities rose to 7,242 until early Saturday with 25 more deaths in the past 24 hours.
The death rate stood at 1.45%, the Directorate General of Health Services said.
Also, 1,267 new Covid-19 cases were reported at that time, taking the country’s caseload to 499,560.