At least two elderly women died in Thakurgaon on Saturday besides three others in Kurigram overnight as the northern districts bore the brunt of a cold wave crossing over of the country.
The deceased in Thakurgaon were identified as Jahura, 70, wife of Mobarak Ali of Thakurgaon village in Sadar upazila and Sakina, 90, wife of Dabirul Islam, of Goalpara in the district town. Thakurgaon civil surgeon Abu Mohammad Khairul Kabir confirmed the deaths to UNB.
Three more deaths caused by the cold in Kurigram brought the total number of deaths reported there to five in the last 48 hours. While the first two victims were a toddler and a new-born, the latest victims included two adults - Biswa Deb Roy (30) and Anwar Hossain (55), suggesting an uptick in the weather's severity. The third victim was Dulali, daughter of Abdus Sattar, who was only 21 days old.
Resident medical officer (acting) of Kurigram Sadar Hospital Jahangir Alam said the three latest victims were all brought there between 10:00pm on Friday and 12:30am on Saturday morning. According to him they all were dead on arrival.
The temperature in Kurigram is again expected to drop to 7 degrees Celsius by 5:00am on Sunday morning, from an almost balmy 14 degrees Celsius at present, according to Accuweather.
Meanwhile the lowest temperature of the day, 5.8 degrees Celsius recorded in Chuadanga and Rajshahi districts on Saturday. Residents of those districts have been forced to endure untold sufferings due to the persistent cold weather.
With children and the elderly disproportionately affected, incidence of cold-related diseases has reportedly been rapidly increasing.
The cold wave limited their outdoor activities to only basic necessities.
Sources at Met Office in Chuadanga and Rajshahi said the country's lowest temperature of this year has been recorded in the two districts in the morning.
In Kurigram, the life has become into a standstill for past few days. People are avoiding stepping outside of home without any important cause and after evening the roads and markets are almost deserted.
Three people were brought dead in hospital due to cold related problems in from Rajarhat upazila since last night, said additional residential medical officer of Kurigram Sadar Hospital.
Along with that in past 24 hours 98 people were admitted to the hospital with cold related problems.
In Sirajganj, cold wave destructed people's life with dance fog and cold related diseases.
During past 48 hours more then two hundred children were admitted to sadar and upazila hospitals, said Sirajganj General Hospital RMO Akramuzzaman.
As a quick measure 27 lakhs of blankets including 18 lakh from the relief fund of prime minister Sheikh Hasina were distributed among the poor people across the country, said relief and disaster management minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.
Distributing blankets among poor people at Matlab in Chandpur district, the minister said "PM Sheikh Hasina has strictly directed that no poor people should suffer during the winter."
He distributed 14,000 blankets in north and south areas of Matlab.
In Madaripur, the cold wave drifting down from the Himalayas has adversely affected all kinds of business establishments, including farming, grocer shops, restaurants, and retail shops, throughout the district.
According to the information of Agriculture Extension Department, Boro seedbeds have been attacked by a seasonal pest, raising the spectre of a great loss for farmers and sustained upward pressure on the price of rice that went up dramatically in 2017 anyway.
The seedbeds where farmers have sown rice, are taking on a yellow tinge as sunlight is failing to reach them on the ground due to thick fog, according to Mokter Mollah, a Boro farmer by profession.
Vendors and grocery shop owners are reportedly counting losses daily as people in rural areas are hardly coming out of their homes in defiance of the bone-chilling temperatures.