Cold spell kills 177 in Russia - healthcare sector source

Up to 177 people have died during a cold spell in Russia this winter, a healthcare sector source told Interfax on Thursday.

"The latest information available indicates that 177 people, including one child, have died from frostbite and overexposure to the cold in Russian regions during the cold spell of 2012-2013," he said.

There have been no fatalities as a result of overexposure to the cold in the past 24 hours, the source said.

The Chelyabinsk (37 fatalities) and Tyumen (30 fatalities) regions, as well as the Altai Territory (22 fatalities) have seen the largest number of deaths as a result of freezing conditions, he said.

As many as 138 cases of frostbite and overexposure to the cold have been reported in the past 24 hours, the source said. Of them, 68 cases required hospitalization.

"Fourteen children have suffered frostbite and overexposure to the cold in Russian regions in the past 24 hours. Of them, five were taken to hospitals," the source said.

The largest number of people affected by freezing conditions has been registered in the Altai Territory in the past 24 hours, he said.

"Some 3,700 people have suffered frostbite and overexposure to the cold during this winter's cold spell. More than 2,000 of them were hospitalized," he said.

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