CHIANG RAI – It is already cold in the northern region, and it will get colder over the next several days, the Meteorological Department. Officals have expressed concerns that as wintry conditions are dominating most parts of Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health has cautioned the public to be aware of winter diseases, especially pneumonia which has affected over 100,000 people this year.
Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr Narong Sahamethapat cited a survey, conducted since the beginning of this year, as saying that more than 170,000 people have been diagnosed with pneumonia. Most of the patients are children under the age of 5 and the elderly above the age of 55. The death toll was reported at 991.
Therefore, Dr Narong suggested anyone experiencing cold symptoms to have plenty of rest and take medicines. If the condition does not improve after three days, with persisting fever, cough and chest pain, medical attention should be sought immediately due to a high risk of pneumonia.
The Permanent Secretary also encouraged parents to pay close attention to their small children if they have a cold and look for signs of pneumonia, such as high fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
A total of 27 provinces in the North, Northeast and Central Plains have been hit by a severe cold spell, affecting more than 13 million people in 3,885,962 households, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported on Tuesday.
Chatchai Promlert, the department’s director-general, said the 12 northern provinces affected by the cold weather – Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Uttaradit, Lampang, Phrae, Nan, Tak, Phayao, Lamphun, Phitsanulok and Petchabun.
The cold spell hit 13 provinces in the Northeast – Loei, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Bung Kan, Si Sa Ket, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen, he added.
Suphanburi and Ratchaburi were the only two provinces in the central region being hit by the cold, said Mr Chatchai.