People from all walks of life, especially the poor, are affected badly as a severe cold wave coupled with chilly wind and dense fog has been sweeping across the country for over a week.
Though the severe cold wave has turned into mild to moderate, people still feel its bite as the difference between day and night temperatures has reduced due to the wind from the northern direction, said a meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
Normal life and business activities were disrupted due to the bone-biting cold yesterday.
Day labourers and slum-dwellers suffered much for the shortage of warm clothes and most of the time they were to stay idle.
Most of the people stayed inside their homes to save themselves from the biting cold.
Sales of warm clothes, room-heaters, water-heater, hotpots and different products have risen due to severe cold.
The cold wave, which has been continuing since January 4, affected badly the life of people across the country as the mercury reached 2.6 degree Celsius on January 8, the lowest recorded temperature in 50 years.
The cold spell is causing diseases such as pneumonia, asthma and respiratory complications across the country, especially in the northern and southern districts.
The number of patients with cough, asthma and other cold-related diseases has marked a sharp rise in different parts of the country, hospital sources said.
Dense fog and biting cold are affecting natural growth of seasonal crops, including Boro seedlings.
The movement of aircraft and river vessels, including ferries, gets disrupted due to dense fog in many places.
Motor vehicles plied the streets with their headlights on in the foggy hours at midnight to morning.
However, overall temperature may slightly rise from today and last for 3-4 days, said the official, adding that another spell of cold wave may sweep through the country during the time.
Country’s highest temperature 29.5 degrees Celsius was recorded at Teknaf and the lowest 6.1 degrees Celsius at Chuadanga on Thursday, the met office said.
A mild to moderate cold wave is sweeping over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Khulna and Barisal divisions and the regions of Rangamati, Sitakunda, Chandpur, Tangail, Faridpur, Kishoregonj, Madaripur and Hatiya, it forecast on Friday.
Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country during midnight to morning and it may continue till noon over north-western part of the country, it said.
Country’s highest temperature was recorded on Thursday 24.5 degrees Celsius at Teknaf while the lowest temperature on Friday 6.2 degrees Celsius at Badalgachhi under Rajshahi division.
Lowest temperature in Dhaka was recorded 11°C on Friday.
The current cold wave may continue while weather may remain dry with temporary partly cloudy sky over the country.
Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country while it may rise after 72 hours, according to the met office.
Ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia route in the Padma river was suspended for seven hours due to blur vision amid dense fog on Friday morning.
“The ferry services were disrupted from 3:30am due to poor visibility caused by thick fog,” said Nasir Mohammad Chowdhury, assistant general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Aricha.
Later, the ferry services resumed around 10:30am as the fog disappeared, he added..