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Sudden cold spell in southern Vietnam triggers rise in respiratory problems

Friday, January 16, 2015, 20:14 GMT+7

A cold front is hitting southern Vietnam, having caused a sharp temperature drop in the past few days and led to a rise in respiratory problems among residents.    

>> Tropical snowfall causes congestion in Sa Pa (photos)     Affected by the cold spell, the temperatures in many southern localities have suddenly plummeted during the last several days, according to the Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station. Residents in Ho Chi Minh City trembled on Thursday as it was 18 degrees Celsius, five degrees lower than a day before, too cold for a tropical city with over 30°C being its ‘standard’ temperature.   It was even colder in Phuoc Long and Dong Phu Districts in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, where the lowest temperature was 16-16.5°C.  Meanwhile, many other localities saw their temperatures drop to under 20°C, such as Long An Province’s Moc Hoa District (18.6°C), Dong Thap Province’s Cao Lanh City (18.8°C), and Tien Giang Province’s My Tho City (19.9°C). The coldest weather in the southern region yesterday, 15.2-15.4°C, was recorded in Long Khanh District and Vinh Cuu District’s Tri An Commune in Dong Nai Province. It will continue to be cold in the southern region until the end of Friday before the weather becomes warmer, the Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station said.

On January 18 or 19, another cold front will hit the region but its intensity will not be as strong as the current snap’s, the station forecast.Rising respiratory problems The sudden cold has caused respiratory problems to many people in Ho Chi Minh City, especially children and the elders, evidenced by the rising patient numbers at some local hospitals. The Respiratory Department of the Pediatrics Hospital 1 in District 10 has received 260-270 patients on a daily basis during the past several days, much higher than the 170-180 patient level in mid-December 2014. A similar situation has happened at the Pediatrics Hospital 2 in District 1. Dr. Tran Thi Thu Loan, head of the Pediatrics Hospital 2’s Respiratory Department, said that the number of patients suffering from asthma has also gone up during the last few days. Meanwhile, the number of elderly people with respiratory diseases coming to the Thong Nhat Hospital in Tan Binh District has increased to 6-12 patients per day over the past few days from only 2-4 per day as before, said Dr. Truong Quang Anh Vu, head of the hospital’s General Planning Department. Le Thanh The, 89, a city resident who came to the hospital on Thursday, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he had breathing and coughing problems due to the cold.

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