LAHORE        -           Biting cold and dense fog continued disturbing routine life in plains of the country including Lahore on Saturday with experts seeing no respite from the prevailing harsh weather conditions during the next couple of days.

Dense fog hampered vehicular movement on important intercity roads including Motorway and National Highway. Less visibility forced closure of portions of Motorway at around midnight, leaving motorists with no other option except to use alternative routes including National Highway. The situation was the same at almost the entire National Highway. Less visibility caused the vehicles to move at a snail’s pace. The police have advised the people to avoid unnecessary travelling from evening to early morning. If unavoidable, use fog lights, ensure functioning of wipers and drive at slow speed.

Dense fog affected flight operation at Allama Iqbal International Airport besides disturbing schedule of Pakistan Railways. Almost all trains reached their respective destinations hours behind the scheduled time.

Lesser duration of sunshine due to dense fog, snowfall over the hills and continuously blowing winds helped maintaining the mercury to a low level, making weather chilly during the day and at nighttime.

Skardu and Gupis remained coldest places in the country where mercury dropped 09 degree Celsius below freezing point. Minimum temperature in Kalam was recorded-07C, Astore, Bagrote and Kalat -06C, Parachinar -05C, Malamjabba and Quetta -04C, Dir -03C, Gilgit and Rawalakot -02C. Minimum temperature in Lahore was recorded 06C.

People preferred to stay indoors to avoid exposure to harsh weather conditions, decreasing traffic on otherwise busy roads till at noon. Excessive usage of heaters at offices and home led to low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

Dry cold and excessive pollution has caused alarming increase in weather related diseases, especially among kids and elderly people.

Experts have advised necessary precautionary measures especially for children and elderly people having weak immunity.

“Skin dryness, itching, common cold, pain in joints, respiratory tract infection, cough, flu and high grade fever are on the rise due to severe cold and accumulation of hazardous pollutants in the atmosphere”, said family physician Dr Abdul Rauf who is running his clinic in congested locality of Farooq Gunj. He advised the people to adopt necessary precautionary measures at homes, offices and while going outside and take balanced diet with enhanced intake of fruits and fluids.

 “Wear warm cloths and properly cover head, neck and chest while going outside. Take fruit, balanced diet and increase fluid intake. Extra care should be given to Asthma patients, elderly people and children to save them from complications. Avoid sharing handkerchief, towel and blanket with those already ill. Take multivitamins for increasing immunity and regularly apply moisturisers on skin for avoiding dryness and rashes,” he said. He advised people to avoid self medication and consult qualified physician in case of any complication.

According to the experts, dry continental air is prevailing over most parts of the country. Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next couple of days. Foggy conditions are expected in plains of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and upper Sindh during morning/night hours. Frost is also expected in Potohar region.