HO CHI MINH CITY, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of elderly people and children were hospitalized this week in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City due to the recent cold spell that has seen temperatures drop below 18 degrees Celsius.
The comparatively cold snap hit the City late last week and is said to be the coldest for a decade, reported Vietnam's National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting on Friday.
The lowest temperature had previously recorded in the City was 21.1 degrees Celsius in 2004, said the Center.
Around 10,000 children were taken to hospital during the coldest two days, and the number that was kept in for treatment was nearly double of that in normal days. Most of them are suffering from a variety of conditions such as allergic rhinitis and pneumonia due to the unusual weather changes.
Head of the Respiratory Department at HCM City Children Hospital No. 2, Tran Thi Thu Loan, told local media that children under two years old in the City, where warm weather usually prevails all year around, had suffered the most from the unusual cold spell.
Meanwhile, Director of HCM City's District 2 Hospital, Tran Van Khanh, said that an additional 30-50 elderly people were being hospitalized daily, mainly suffering from arthritis and pneumonia.
The Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Center forecast that temperature is likely to drop again early next week.