Cold snap kills 50 in Bangladesh

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Ny-Aalesund research station, the world's, September 20, REUTERS/Gwladys Fouche/File Photo

At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh as cold weather continues to sweep across the country, heath officials said.

The country’s lowest temperature this year was recorded at 4.5 degrees Celsius (40.1° Fahrenheit) early on Sunday in Tetulia, a border town in Bangladesh’s north, the weather office said.

At least 17 people died of acute respiratory infection and 33 from diarrhoea and other diseases across Bangladesh from Nov. 1 to Dec. 28, said Ayesha Akhter, a senior official of the government’s health directorate.

Hospitals have been crowded with people suffering from cold-related illnesses, such as influenza, dehydration and pneumonia, said Ayesha Akhter, she said.

Those on low incomes, particularly labourers, are the worst affected by the cold weather because they lack clothes while many others, especially children and the elderly people, are prone to diseases such as pneumonia, Akhter said.

The weather office said the cold snap, accompanied by chilly winds and dense fog, week was likely to continue for few more days.

Thick fog forced authorities to divert several flights and delay others, aviation officials said.