Al Jazeera: At least 50 people have died in Bangladesh as cold weather continues to sweep across the country, officials have said.
The country’s lowest temperature this year was recorded at 4.5 degrees Celsius (40.1 degrees 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 diarrhea caused by rotavirus and other diseases across Bangladesh from November 1 to December 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, she said.
Those on low incomes, particularly laborers, 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, was likely to continue for a few more days.
Thick fog forced authorities to divert several flights and delay others, aviation officials said.
“I have no choice. I have to work regardless of the harsh weather to feed my family,” said Abdur Rahim, a rickshaw puller in the capital, Dhaka.
“The number of passengers has reduced sharply as people are avoiding going out. It is also getting difficult to pull the rickshaw as I feel like my body is frozen.”
The unusual shifts in weather are just another sign that the earth is groaning from the effects of sin and the workings of Satan.
“Satan is working in the atmosphere; he is poisoning the atmosphere, and here we are dependent upon God for our lives—our present and eternal life. And being in the position that we are, we need to be wide awake, wholly devoted, wholly converted, wholly consecrated to God. But we seem to sit as though we were paralyzed. God of heaven, wake us up!” Selected Messages, book 2, page 51.