Elderly warned as temperature falls

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2005, 12:00am

Warm clothes will be needed for the next couple of days as a winter monsoon brings the mercury as low as 12 degrees Celsius.

But the elderly are being warned to take care about how they keep warm.

The weekend should be more comfortable with a maritime airstream expected to bring mild and humid weather.

A cold weather warning issued by the Observatory on Sunday is expected to stay in effect today.

'The temperature will drop to 12 degrees Celsius on Tuesday in urban areas, while it's going to be two to three degrees lower in the New Territories,' said scientific officer Li Yuet-sim.

The cold snap has brought a flood of calls to an alarm system set up for distressed old people to summon aid. The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association said 1,124 calls were made to its Personal Emergency Link yesterday, compared with an average 45.

Of the callers, 58 were admitted to hospital.

May Chui Mei-fun, the association's public relations officer, said most of those seeking for help were suffering from diseases trigged by the cold weather, such as asthma and heart attacks.

She warned the elderly against closing all doors and windows when trying to keep out the cold.

'It can be dangerous when an indoor space gets stuffy,' she said.

And any old folks tempted to take a tipple or two to keep warm were warned not to. 'Alcohol will only contract blood vessels and lead to heart attacks.'