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Cold kills in Asia

by
25 January 2013

by a staff reporter

DEMOTIX

In a huddle: street fruit-sellers wrap up against the cold and wait for customers in Bogra, Bangladesh, on 29 December

In a huddle: street fruit-sellers wrap up against the cold and wait for customers in Bogra, Bangladesh, on 29 December

COLD weather in south-east Asia is believed to have caused 80 deaths in Bangladesh, as the country experiences its lowest temperatures for 40 years.

The lowest temperature recorded there was 3°C. The country's weather office said that the last time the temperature dropped lower was in February 1968.

The Red Crescent has reported that hospitals are full of patients suffering from respiratory illnesses. Children and the elderly are the worst-affected: in one hospital, over three days, 300 children were admitted with respiratory problems.

The secretary general of Bangladesh Red Crescent, Abu Bakar, said that rural areas had been worst hit, as many people could not afford warm clothes or heating. "According to the reports of our district offices and local administrations, about 80 people have died, owing to cold-related diseases such as respiratory problems, pneumonia, and cough," he said.

The Red Crescent has distributed 30,000 blankets to those most in need. The Barnabas Fund is also distributing about 1000 blankets.

The cold weather has also affected the neighbouring countries of India and Pakistan.

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