The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on Thursday warned Cambodians to prepare for a cold snap that is expected to last until mid-January, while the Health Ministry on Wednesday suggested precautions citizens should take against common winter diseases such as influenza.
While the ministry’s website put temperatures in Phnom Penh at 21 degrees last night, Oum Ryna, director of the ministry’s meteorology department, said in some areas of the country temperatures could drop as low as 14 degrees.
“The weather is cold in the morning and nighttime, especially at Dangrek Mountain [in Preah Vihear province], where it could drop to 14 or 15 degrees,” Mr. Ryna said.
“We have predicted that the cold weather will last until mid-January,” he added, warning citizens to wear more layers of clothing to protect against the cold.
Lieutenant General Srey Doek, commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Force’s Division 3 in the area, said daytime temperatures had fallen to a low of 17 degrees from a usual high of about 30 degrees.
“It’s not a problem, because we have already prepared jackets for our troops,” he said.
Temperatures in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Takeo, Kompong Speu, Kompong Thom, Kampot, Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces are expected to fluctuate between 22 and 30 degrees over the coming weeks, the ministry said.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization issued a joint warning on how to prevent viral respiratory infections in the cold weather.
They said special attention should be paid to infants and the elderly, both of whom are more susceptible to falling ill during a colder spell. Older people are particularly vulnerable when it comes to the risk of contracting hypothermia, the warning said.
The statement also advised people on how to stop the spread of flu.
“Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. No tissue? Then cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands,” it says.