Biting cold wave with dense fog disrupted normal life in different parts of the country, especially in the northern and southern regions, on Saturday.
Poor people living in open and public spaces like bus and railway stations, daily labourers and slum dwellers are the worst sufferers of the cold as they cannot afford warm clothes.
The mild to moderate cold wave has been sweeping over the northern and southern regions for the last three days, said a meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).
The Met Office said the mild to moderate cold wave, which is sweeping over Khulna, Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions and the regions of Tangail, Faridpur, Gopalganj and Srimangal, may continue.
Country’s lowest temperature was recorded 5.8 degree Celsius in Chuadanga and Rajshahi districts on Saturday.
Last year country’s lowest temperature was 5 degree Celsius on January 14.
The lowest temperature of Dhaka was 13 degree Celsius on Saturday while it was 11.5 degrees on Friday, according to the Met Office.
Overall temperature may slightly rise after 2-3 days, said an official of the BMD, adding that another spell of cold wave may sweep over the country in the mid-January.
The cold spell has triggered cold-related diseases, including pneumonia, asthma and respiratory complications, in the northern districts.
The number of patients with cough, asthma and other cold-related diseases has marked a sharp rise in different areas of the northern region, hospital sources said.
The number of pneumonia and diarrhoea patients, mostly children and elderly people, continues to increase due to the bone-chilling cold.
Thick fog was seen at places over the river basins and light to moderate fog elsewhere during midnight till morning, it said.
Farm labourers, day labourers, rickshaw pullers and low-income people, who mainly work outside, were forced to leave their work because of the extreme cold.
The dense fog had also been disrupting movement of road and water transports for the last few days.
The extreme cold and lack of sunlight may hamper the natural growth of crops, including Boro (winter rice variety) seedlings.
Failure of cash crops may result in unemployment of agro-labour.
UNB from Thakurgaon adds: Two elderly women died of cold-related afflictions in the district on Saturday as a spell of cold wave continues to sweep through northern region of the country.
The deceased were identified as Jahura, 70, wife of Mobarak Ali of Thakurgaon village in Sadar upazila and Sakina, 90, wife of Dabirul Islam, Goalpara of the district town.
The duo was brought to Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital with cold-related complications in the morning where doctors declared them dead.
Civil Surgeon Dr Abu Mohammad Khairul Kabir admitted that two elderly women died of cold-related afflictions.
Mercury dipped as low as 6 degree Celsius in Thakurgaon on Saturday.