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Thursday April 18, 2024

Twin cities under grip of severe cold

By Khalid Iqbal
January 23, 2024

Rawalpindi: Like all parts in the country, a wave of severe cold has gripped the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, bringing about a surge of cold related diseases that are strongly affecting the vulnerable, particularly children of age 3 to 12 years. All private and government hospitals are packed with cold related patients facing recorded cold weather.

Family sitting around the fire to keep them warm as the temperature falls. — APP/File
Family sitting around the fire to keep them warm as the temperature falls. — APP/File

School going children are facing severe weather without heaters due to absence of natural gas all around. On Monday, there was a zero visibility here in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad due to dense fog. The parents have appealed Punjab government to close all schools to avoid harsh weather because their children were facing cold related diseases with every passing day. It seems that Punjab government waiting for a serious incident while 8 children already died in the province due to severe weather.

Hospital admissions include patients with a range of winter ailments, such as pneumonia, respiratory tract infections, and diarrhoea. There are also reports of burn injuries increasing as people make bonfires to get warm or use hot water to bathe. Doctors recommend wearing warm clothing and exercising caution during the winter season. At least eight more children died of pneumonia in Punjab during the last 24 hours due to an increase in cold weather,

A staggering 779 cases of pneumonia in children have been reported on Sunday alone. This brings the total number of cases in Pakistan’s largest province to 7,700. The high number of cases has also led to extreme shortages of medicine.

To save children from catching pneumonia, the government has decided to impose a ban on holding a morning assembly in schools till Jan 31. Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi announced the extension in winter vacations for the students of class prep and nursery on January 10 after 36 children died because of pneumonia in the first 10 days of January. Teachers and principals of different government and private schools on condition of anonymity told ‘The News’ that majority of parents were not sending their children to schools due to harsh weather.