RAWALPINDI, Jan 11: With temperature plummeting to below zero degree centigrade, cases of pneumonia and other seasonal diseases have been on the rise in the twin cities.
The cold wave has gripped Rawalpindi and Islamabad and mercury dropped to minus-one degree Celsius with government-run hospitals in the Rawalpindi city reporting increasing number of pneumonia patients, especially children and old-aged people, for the last three days.As many as 80 pneumonia patients visited Holy Family Hospital on Wednesday, 63 reached Benazir Bhutto Hospital while the District Headquarters Hospital received 75 patients. The doctors said normally they saw eight to 10 pneumonia patients daily during the last week.
The Met Office said the twin cities would remain in the grip of the cold wave for the next two days and after rain which is expected on January 14, the chill would subside.The Met Office officials said the fresh western disturbance waslikely to affect some parts of the country, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad, from January 14.
The minimum temperature in Islamabad and Rawalpindi was recorded at -1 degree Celsius and the officials said it was not unusual as in January the twin cities witnessed the minimum temperature falling to -1 and -2 degree Celsius.
`Most of the patients come to us with complaints related to extreme cold conditions. We have been getting more than 80 patients on a daily basis,` said Dr Naeem Ahmed ofHFH.
Dr Mohammad Haroon of Benazir Bhutto Hospital said with the advent of winter, there had been a significant increase in upper and lower respiratory tract infections.
On the other hand, sale at lunda bazaar has also increased despite high prices of the secondhand clothes.
Stalls of hand-me-downs have been established near railway station, at Haider Road, Bank Road, Hati Chowk, Fowara Chowk, Raja Bazaar, Bara Market, China Market,Benazir Bhutto Road and Chotta Bazaar in Saddar.
All kinds of wears and accessories, including gloves, woolen caps, mufflers, pullovers, sweaters, cardigans, coats and jackets are seen hanging in these make-shift shops.
Many vendors were also seen selling almond, walnut, peanuts, dry apricot, pistachio, raisins, cashews and others.
Similarly, bakeries and confectionery shops have witnessed a heavy rush as the sale of halwa, pizza and other items has gone up.