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Cold wave leads to 145 deaths in Taiwan over 2 days

294 OHCA deaths reported since Saturday, majority were elderly or those with pre-existing conditions

Stock image of paramedics treating patient on stretcher. (Ingimage photo)

Stock image of paramedics treating patient on stretcher. (Ingimage photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's cold wave has been attributed to 145 deaths from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) over the past two days and nearly 300 since Saturday (Jan. 20).

As temperatures across Taiwan plunged, 92 people died after suffering OHCA on Monday (Jan. 22) and 53 on Tuesday (Jan. 23), according to National Fire Agency (NFA) statistics, reported by China Times. The majority were elderly and suffered from pre-existing conditions.

The powerful cold front arrived on Saturday and recorded 71 OHCA deaths that day, according to the NFA. On Sunday (Jan. 21), there were 78 OHCA deaths reported. From Saturday to Tuesday, a total of 294 people have died.

The NFA urged the public to be aware of the health hazards caused by low temperatures, especially for those with cardiovascular diseases and the elderly. The CWA said there is a probability of temperatures dropping below 10 C.

On Wednesday (Jan. 24), temperatures in areas north of Kaohsiung, the eastern half of the country, and Kinmen are expected to be below 6 C or consistently around 10 C or lower. Lienchiang County may see temperatures drop below 2 C or remain consistently around 6 C or lower.

The Yunlin County Fire Department said that of the seven cases of OHCA on Tuesday, most had a history of high blood pressure and heart disease and were aged 67- 91. The Chiayi County Fire Department received five OHCA cases, all from the elderly.

According to the Changhua County Fire Department, there were two cases of OHCA transported to the hospital on Tuesday. Both involved elderly males aged 73 and 64.

New Taipei City Fire Chief Li Ching-an (李清安) said the cold weather care mechanism had been activated on Mondays. Borough chiefs have been requested to broadcast reminders about precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Residents are advised to open doors and windows to ensure ventilation. If anyone needs assistance, they can call the municipal hotline at 1999, or in case of emergencies, the fire department at 119.