NHRC concerned about cold snap

Kathmandu, January 7

The National Human Rights Commission today said its serious attention was drawn to crippling of normal life and deaths due to cold wave across the country, mainly in the Tarai and high mountainous areas, over a period of past few days.

The constitutional rights watchdog said that at least 24 persons were reported to have died of cold wave, snowfall and chilling cold in Humla, Jajarkot, Saptari, Siraha, Rautahat and Kapilvastu, among other districts, during its monitoring.

“Highly disadvantaged groups, senior citizens, women, children and patients have been hit the hardest by the cold snap, and local hospitals and health posts are having a tough time delivering curative services for the want of health workers and medicines,” read a press release issued by the NHRC.

It warned that people had even died of common cold, fever and cold diarrhoea due to the lack of essential drugs like paracetamol.

The NHRC urged the government to supply necessary drugs and deploy special team of health workers to the affected areas, besides distributing warm clothes and relief materials to the needy people.

In winter, the Tarai and the high Himalayan regions face the brunt of cold waves which cause death and injury to livestock and wildlife, and people, mainly the elderly and children.

People, particularly the poor, who cannot afford warm clothes, are more vulnerable. Many parts of the country remain covered in a thick blanket of fog blocking sunlight for days during the peak of the winter.