Europe Tries to Shield Homeless From Deep Freeze
Russia and Ukraine took extra precautions on Friday to protect homeless people during a brutal cold snap, ordering new facilities and medical care after scores of people have frozen to death on the streets of Europe.
As the death toll from the past week rose to at least 175 on Friday, Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the creation of facilities nationwide to feed and provide medical assistance to the homeless.
The weeklong freeze — Eastern Europe’s worst in decades — is causing power outages, frozen water pipes and widespread closure of schools, nurseries, airports and bus routes.
In the hardest-hit country, health officials have told hospitals to stop discharging the hundreds of homeless patients after they are treated for hypothermia and frostbite. The goal is to prevent them from dying once they are released into temperatures as low as minus 32 Celsius (minus 26 Fahrenheit).
Authorities also have set up nearly 3,000 heating and food shelters.
Thirty-eight more fatalities were reported from frostbite and hypothermia in Ukraine on Friday, raising the nation’s death toll to 101. Emergency officials have said many of the victims were homeless.