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Cold snap a blight for elderly, children

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An increasing number of elderly people and children have been hospitalised in recent days as the northern region was struck by cold weather.

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Snow appeared on Fansipan Peak in Sapa Town of the northern mountainous province Lao Cai on Tuesday, attracting tourists. 

 

The cold snap hit the region late last week and is expected to be the coldest this winter.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said the average temperature was between nine and 12 degrees Celsius in much of the northern and north-central region, including Hanoi, yesterday.

Associate Professor Tran Minh Dien, deputy director of the National Hospital of Paediatrics (NHP), said the hospital admitted more children suffering from respiratory problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia recently.

About 2,000 children come to the hospital for medical check-ups daily on average, Dien told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

He predicted the figure would increase if the weather stayed as cold in the coming days.

The cold weather might also increase the risk of contracting diarrhoea for children.

Do Manh Hung, head of NHP’s dissemination and customer care department, blamed poor resistance and adaption to weather changes on the increase in the number of children seeking treatment.

He said the hospital had taken measures to cope with the surge in admissions.

To reduce waiting time and to give doctors more time for consulting, more doctors were mobilised to work and more check-up rooms were prepared in hospitals, Hung told Viet Nam News.

In addition to dissemination for parents on the necessity of keeping their children warm, the hospital also prepared more beds for patients and provided more blankets for them.

Associate Professor Nguyen Tien Dung, former head of Bach Mai Hospital’s Paediatric Ward, said it also experienced a rise in the number of children hospitalised recently.

The most common ailments were respiratory diseases such as sore throats, tonsillitis and pneumonia.

Dung advised that parents should keep their children warm during cold days. They should not play outside if the temperature is below 15 degrees Celsius.

The cold weather did not only affect children’s health but also the elderly.

Ha Noi Heart Hospital’s second branch has seen a sharp rise in the number of patients seeking treatment over the past three days.

Each day, it received between 1,000 and 1,200 patients with cardiovascular diseases. Most were elderly.

Snowfall in Sa Pa

The mercury in Lao Cai Province yesterday dropped remarkably compared with the day before, with temperatures as low as 5.5 degrees Celsius in the mountainous district of Bac Ha and 3.3 degrees Celsius in Sa Pa Town.

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Snow appeared on Fansipan Peak in Sapa Town of the northern mountainous province Lao Cai on Tuesday, attracting tourists. — VNA/VNS Photos Huong Thu

 

Snowfall blanketed Fansipan’s peak, which at 3,143 metres above sea level is considered the roof of Indochina.

Tourists flocked to Sa Pa Town to admire the rare sight.

According to Lao Cai Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development, the prolonged cold weather has so far killed 76 heads of cattle, resulting in losses of nearly VND1 billion (US$44,000). Sa Pa District is the locality with the most dead cattle, 67, followed by Van Ban and Si Ma Cai District.

In the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau, local authorities outlined plans to cope with cold weather and diseases for humans, cattle and plants.

Do Ngoc An, chairman of Lai Chau Province’s People’s Committee asked concerned agencies to take measures to minimise the damage and prevent diseases.

District leaders were requested to stay up to date on weather forecasts and to call on local residents to store food and take care of cattle during the cold weather.

Strict punishments will be imposed on leaders of localities suffering serious damage caused by irresponsibility, he said.

The provincial Health Department has asked units under its leadership to monitor the disease situation and be proactive in detecting infectious diseases.

The provincial Education Department has requested school in the locality to adjust school times so that students would not have to come to classes if the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius.

Weakening storm

Typhoon Kai-tak, which has left a trail of destruction in the Philippines in recent days, became the 15th typhoon to enter Vietnamese waters this year. However, the national weather bureau has said that it will make little impact on the mainland as it has already weakened considerably at 180km east of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago. Near the typhoon’s centre, wind speeds were 60-75km/h.

In the next 48-72 hours, the typhoon is expected to move in the east-southeastern direction at 20km/h. 

 

 

Source: VNS

 

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