The suffering of people in the northern districts of the country has increased following the cold wave, chilly winds, and steady drop in temperature. People have been seen making fires to warm themselves.
In the last month and a half, at least 20 people were admitted to the burn unit of Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) after sustaining burn injuries while warming themselves. Of them, three women succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.
Cold-related ailments have increased amongst children and the elderly people due to continuous cold wave and chilly winds in the region.
According to the district meteorologist office, people's daily activities are being hampered due to the severe cold wave and chilly winds in the last few days. The cold wave is heading toward the northern region from Bihar of India and Nepal.
Rangpur Meteorologist Mostafizur Rahman said the mild cold wave started in the northern districts from January 13, recording temperatures between 8 to 9 degrees Celsius in some parts of the region. Two additional cold spells are set for January 18 and 19.
The suffering of day labourers and the poor has increased due to biting cold wave and chilly winds. The vehicles on different thoroughfares were forced to use headlights due to a thick blanket of fog from evening to 11:00 am the next day. Rahman said this could lead to increased risk of road accidents.
Sheuly Islam, residence of Munsipara of the city, said some parts of the north are covered with thick fog from evening to noon the next day. Lower income groups have been badly affected by the bone-chilling cold as they have not been able to relocate elsewhere due to work.
Rangpur District Commissioner Asib Ahasan said about 52,000 blankets and Tk 48 lakh have been allocated for the poor in the district.
Several organisations have also distributed warm clothing and blankets amongst the underprivileged, he added.