LAHORE - Dense fog and biting cold continued disturbing routine life in plains of the country including Lahore on Tuesday with experts predicting the prevailing harsh weather conditions to persist during the next couple of days.

Less visibility hampered vehicular movement on major inter and intra city routes including Motorway and National Highway besides disturbing rail and air traffic.

Excessive usage of heaters at offices and homes to cope with biting cold led to low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore.

Prolonged dryness and biting cold has caused considerable increase in cold borne diseases especially among elderly people and kids.

The fog started falling in the evening and become so dense at mid night that visibility reduced to zero in open areas. Low visibility hampered vehicular movement on important intercity roads including Motorway and National Highway. Dense fog again caused closure of Motorway from Pindi Bhattian to Lahore and from Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad at around midnight. The situation was the same at almost the entire National Highway. Though the highway was not closed for traffic, considerable decrease in visibility caused the vehicles to move at a snail’s pace.

The police advised motorists to switch on fog lights and drive on slow speed. Dense fog also disturbed normal flight operation and schedule of Pakistan Railways.

Snowfall over the hills and winds helped maintaining the mercury to a low level, making weather chilly during the day and at nighttime.

Skardu remained coldest place in the country where mercury dropped 12 degree Celsius below freezing point. Minimum temperature in Kalam and Astore was recorded -08C, Kalat and Gupis -07C, Gilgit -06C, Quetta and Rawalakot -05C, Malamjabba, Dir and Bagrote -04C, Hunza and Chitral -03C, Lower Dir, Mirkhani, Drosh, Kakul and Chillas -02C, Muree, Parachinar, Saidu Sharif and Bunji -01C. Minimum temperature in the City was recorded 03C. 

Harsh weather conditions forced the people to stay indoors wrapped in woolies and blankets to keep their bodies warm. Excessive usage of heaters in the offices and at home led to low gas pressure in major cities including Lahore. In certain areas, women faced huge difficulties in cooking meals for their families.

Excessive pollution due to persistent dryness and severe cold has caused considerable increase in weather related diseases, especially among kids and elderly people.

Experts are seeing no respite from bacteria or viral infection as no significant rain giving system is approaching the country during the next couple of days.

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

“Severe cold has increased skin dryness and allergy, itching, common cold, pain in joints, respiratory tract infection, cough and flu, wheezy chest and high grade fever”, said leading family physician Dr Abdul Rauf. 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 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, continental air is likely to prevail over most parts of the country during next few days.

Local meteorological department has forecast mainly cold and dry weather for most parts of the country including Lahore during the next couple of days.

Dense/shallow foggy conditions are likely to continue in plains of Punjab, upper Sindh and Peshawar division during morning/night hours. Frost is also expected in upper parts of the country during morning hours.