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Phuket haze eases, warning remains in effect

Phuket haze eases, warning remains in effect

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) Chief Thanit Sermkaew this morning (Sept 24) re-issued a health advisory urging people with breathing difficulties, children and the elderly to stay indoors as the haze from Indonesian forest fires continue to affect Phuket.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 24 September 2019, 10:58AM

Image: PCD

Image: PCD

“Although I have not received any reports of people suffering serious health effects arriving at hospitals I have ordered all main government hospitals to have the appropriate equipment prepared to help people,” Chief Thanit said.

“People with heart or lung conditions are urged to please be careful. If your chest begins to hurt, or if you develop a headache or it becomes difficult to breath, please see a doctor,” he added.

Schools remain open, but school directors have been asked to refrain from allowing outdoor activities.

“The air quality has not required us to close the schools, but we will keep monitoring the situation. If the air quality starts to seriously affect people’s health, we will take more serious steps,” Chief Thanit explained.

“But teachers should avoid outdoor activities such as assemblies in the morning or sports,” he said.

Phuket Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai today announced that the Phuket office of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) is on standby to assist officials with any air-quality related issues.

“Since the effect of the haze in Phuket on Sunday, we maintain our recommendation for the general public to reduce and refrain from activities and exercising outdoors and to look out for any unusual symptoms.

QSI International School Phuket

“People are advised to a wear face mask when going outside. Also, please drive be carefully because of the haze affects visual ability when driving,” V/Gov Supoj said.

Despite falling to a relatively clear reading of 61 overnight, Phuket Town as of 9am today recorded a PM2.5 reading of 142, marked as an orange-code “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”, according to the Air Quality Data web portal provided by the Division of Air Quality Data, Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau, Pollution Control Department (PCD). (See report here.)

On Sunday, the PM2.5 count for Phuket peaked at code-red “Unhealthy” reading of 170.

The readings yesterday averaged around the 150 mark.

Today’s code orange “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” is allocated to PM2.5 readings of 101-150.

The health implications listed by the PCD for the category are, “Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.”

The PCD’s Cautionary Statement for the category is, “Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.”

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Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 12:54:08

Phuket health authorities should publish a International Tourist Red Health Warning not to go now to Phuket with children as long the fires on Sumatra spread  SMOG ( not haze) over Phuket.  Tourists visiting Big Buddha on the mountain last few days were shocked by the density of the SMOG while trying to overlook Phuket.

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