Death toll from freezing cold reaches 11 in Saptari, Siraha

Rajbiraj/Siraha, January 6

Freezing cold following cold wave has claimed as many as 11 lives over the last five days in Saptari and Siraha. Hundreds of locals are taken ill due to the biting cold.

Seven persons died due to cold in Saptari while three in Siraha. Sujan Thakur, 55, of Launiya in Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality-1 in Saptari died due to cold last night.

Headteacher at Umeswor Primary School, Launiya, and neighbour of the deceased Pradip Kumar Mandal said Thakur was found dead in his bed today morning, presumably due to excessive cold.

Yesterday, Sukdev Yadav,58, of Mahadeva Rural Municipality-2 in Saptari died due to cold. Mayor of Rajbiraj Municipality Shambhu Prasad Yadav said Kelidevi Khang, 60, of Jhalti Tole of Rajbiraj Municipality also succumbed to cold. Ward chair Arun Yadav said Najo Begam, 60, also died due to freezing cold.

Likewise, Ward chair Binod Kumar Yadav said Ramdayal Ram, Kuldip Ray and Rajiyadevi Ray of Chhinnamasta Rural Municipality-1 died due to extreme cold last Wednesday. According to DSP Dhruva Kumar Shrestha, Lakhan Thakur, 60, of Krishna Sabaran Rural Municipality-4, Saptari also died due to cold today.

With the mercury dipping, the number of patients suffering from diarrhoea, fever and respiratory problems has gone up in the district. Dhaneswor Sah, in-charge at the emergency department of Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital said children and the elderly were worst-hit by cold. Owing to the inclement weather, as many as 412 public schools were forced to shut down on Sunday and Monday.

Saptari CDO Bhagirath Pandey said they had distributed around 3,000 blankets and firewood to cold-hit locals.

In Siraha, three persons, including one minor, died due to cold. Ram Ratan Mahato, 55, and six-year-old Labh Kumar Sah, son of Shambhu Sah, at Kasaha of Dhangadhimai Municiplaity-7 and Golbazaar Municiplaity-4 respectively died due to cold today morning. Ram Prasad Mahato, 70, of Golbazaar-2 also succumbed to cold last night.

Earlier, the minor boy was taken to a local shaman after he fell ill due to cold. The two elderly were asthma patients.

With the temperature plummeting, the number of patients has increased in the district hospital, Siraha.  Chief of the hospital Chumanlal Das said increased number of people with complaints of common cold, fever and other cold-related respiratory problems have been visiting almost all government and private health facilities in the district in recent days.

Meanwhile, Dhurmush Suntali Foundation distributed blankets to 65 families at a Dalit settlement in Karjanha Municiplaity-7 in Siraha.

Similarly, one blanket was distributed to each of 250 families affected by cold in Bishnupur Rural Municipality in the district. Firewood was distributed at various chowks in Golbazaar Municipality. Community schools will remain closed for four more days from Sunday in Bara and Parsa due to excessive cold.