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Mortalities from cold spell in Ukraine have risen to 61

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A homeless woman drinks free tea in a tent set by the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry during a winter day in the industrial city of Donetsk, December 18, 2012.

Ukraine’s freezing winter has taken the lives of 24 more people pushing the overall death toll to 61 in December after temperatures fall below minus 23 degrees Celsius.

The cold snap, which included almost half a meter of snow, killed 43 people on the streets, nine in homes and another nine in hospitals, a senior Health Ministry official said on Wednesday.

“Today everyone who has come for help has received that help,” Ukrainian Ministry of Health representative and professor Georgy Kozynets said.

“They received this help in our country’s medical institutions,” he added.

Emergency services in Kiev have pitched some 1,500 immediate care centers to provide essentials as well as a warm place to stay for the thousands of homeless in Kiev.

“According to Kiev authority’s information, 15,000 homeless people live in Kiev. Here in emergency ministry tents they can get warmth, comfort, tea, some food, some sandwiches and cookies,” Executive Head of Emergency Services in Kiev, Valerey Boris said.

Appropriate insulated clothes are vital for people without a home at night as plunging temperatures persist in Ukraine.

“The adaptive level of the winter clothing culture in this region [Kiev] can hold up against a frost of minus 20-25 degrees,” surgeon Alexei Sadovy said.

Weather forecasters predict the conditions to worsen this week as temperatures at night could drop to minus 28 degrees Celsius in northern, central and eastern Ukraine.


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