Cold snap puts 17 elderly in hospital

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 12:00am

At least 17 elderly people have been admitted to hospital suffering from hypothermia as the mercury continued to fall last night.

A cold weather warning was issued for the fourth consecutive day yesterday, with temperatures dropping to 9.4 degrees Celsius at 3.14am. Temperatures fell to 9 degrees on Sunday.

Since Friday, 17 people aged between 50 and 101 had been sent to hospital for hypothermia, including five yesterday, the Hospital Authority said.

The Observatory said the northeast monsoon was bringing cold weather to southern China.

By 5pm yesterday, the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association had received 852 calls for assistance, involving 50 elderly people being sent to hospital, mainly for dizziness and pain.

By 7am yesterday, 433 people had sought shelter from the 11 cold shelters run by the Home Affairs Department.

The weather is expected to stay chilly today, with the temperature ranging between 10 degrees and 14 degrees. It is expected to be cloudy with one or two light rain patches.

The minimum temperature in urban areas will be about 10 degrees, and one or two degrees lower in the New Territories.

But the temperature will climb to between 14 degrees and 20 degrees on Wednesday, with fog, according to the Observatory. The weather is expected to stay humid for the rest of the week, with relative humidity of 80 per cent to 95 per cent.

The longest cold weather warning since 1999 was from January 18 to 27 last year. It lasted for 204 hours and 45 minutes, according to the Observatory.