BSS, Rangpur : The sweeping bone-chilling cold wave severely affected normal life in the northern districts following sharp falls in the maximum temperatures during the past 24 hours ending yesterday afternoon, official and local sources said. The severity of cold mounted as the maximum temperatures marked falls by three to six degrees celsius yesterday and the sun remained covered behind clouds, fogs and mists amid blowing cooler winds throughout the day yesterday affecting normal life and farm activities. The inclement weather also affected vehicular traffic on the roads and highways forcing the drivers to put headlights of their vehicles on for averting accidents amid densely foggy weather since 9 pm last night till 9 am yesterday at most place in the region. According to Met Office sources, the minimum temperature of 12.2 degrees celsius was recorded at Rangpur at 6 am and maximum of 17 degrees at 3 pm yesterday against yesterday’s 12.8 degrees and 20.4 degrees celsius respectively. Besides, the minimum temperatures recorded were 12.3 degrees celsius at Syedpur, 13.2 degrees at Bogra, 11 degrees at Dinajpur and 12.6 degrees at Iswardi while the maximum temperatures ranged mostly between 16 and 20 degrees celsius yesterday. The intensity of biting cold became almost unbearable following reduction of the gap between the minimum and maximum temperatures to only five to eight degrees celsius at most places in the sub-Himalayan region yesterday. The number of patients with cough, fever, asthma and other climate change related diseases marked sharp rise during the past couple of days at many places in the northern districts, concerned hospital sources and physicians said. Civil Surgeon of Rangpur Dr Reajul Islam said adequate steps have been taken in all government hospitals and upazila health complexes to provide proper treatments to the cold- related patients if the situation deteriorates further. The districts and upazila administrations, NGOs, voluntary, socio-cultural and charitable organisations have been distributing warm clothes among the distressed cold-hit people to mitigate their sufferings. “We are distributing 6,300 pieces of blankets among the cold- hit distressed people in the district now after completing distribution of another 6,700 pieces of blankets,” District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Abdus Salam told BSS.