Mercury plunges to 50-year low, city hospitals brace for emergencies

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai set a new record on Friday when temperatures dropped to minus 5.1 degrees Celsius in downtown and minus 8.4 degrees in Chongming District.
Cai Wenjun

Shanghai's benchmark weather station in downtown Xujiahui reported minus 5.1 degrees Celsius on Friday morning, setting a 50-year record for the day.

In suburban Chongming District, it plunged to -8.4 degrees.

Since Thursday, the city has been hit by a cold snap with lows below -1 degrees Celsius and local weathermen advised locals to stay warm and alert.

Saturday will be sunny to cloudy, with lows of minus 1 degree in downtown and minus 2 to minus 4 degrees in the suburbs, and highs of 4 degrees.

Shot by Dong Jun. Edited by Dong Jun.

The city is gearing up to cope with the cold wave, with shops increasing stocks of food to keep supplies stable and deliverymen standing by to serve people in need.

E-commerce firms such as and Meituan have strengthened protection and trainings for deliverymen amid extreme weather.

In case of residential property management issues such as freezing pipeline and power outages, people can call 962121 for help.

Mercury plunges to 50-year low, city hospitals brace for emergencies
Dong Jun / SHINE

A fountain on Wuxing Road in Xuhui District is frozen.

According to doctors, the number of patients suffering from acute respiratory disease and cardiovascular disorders such as stroke and heart attack has increased in recent days.

Dr Wang Gang of Ruijin Hospital's neurology department said that the cold weather leads to a faster heartbeat, higher blood pressure, and further shrinkage of blood vessels, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Shanghai 6th People's Hospital said its emergency department has seen an increase in the number of patients who have fallen on slippery ground.

Mercury plunges to 50-year low, city hospitals brace for emergencies
Ti Gong

Doctors at Shanghai Cancer Center heat alcoholic cotton balls to sanitize sensors and apply them to patients.

"The slippery ground, a poor reaction after wearing additional clothes, and headgear impacting vision can make people more prone to accidents and injuries," said Dr Xu Jun, an orthopedist at the hospital.

Local hospitals have increased manpower in the emergency department.

At the Shanghai Cancer Center, doctors doing electrocardiography use 40-degree purified water to warm up alcohol cotton balls before disinfecting the sensors and applying them to patients.

Technicians in the radiotherapy department also heat materials so that patients can feel better during treatment.

"It appears to be a simple movement, but it requires our staff to replace the hot water repeatedly, and they must do so rapidly so that the tests do not stall. So they need to run over 100 times a day," said Xu Qing, the department's technician team leader.

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