Thai province urges people to stay indoors due to pollution

Bangkok, Apr 7 (EFE).- The governor of Chiang Mai province, in northern Thailand, urged civil servants and private companies Friday to work from home to avoid the dangerous levels of air pollution in the region.

The city of about 1 million inhabitants, today registered a “hazardous” level, the highest on the scale of the Air Visual portal, which measures air pollution worldwide, including the dangerous PM 2.5 ( particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.)

It’s a trend that has continued for several days in the popular tourist destination due to forest fires that devastate the province and crop burning – prohibited by law but consented to by the authorities – factors that are added to the dry season and hotter.

The levels of PM 2.5 particles – the most dangerous and so small that they can enter the bloodstream directly – were more than 69 times higher than the annual guideline of the World Health Organization, according to the measurement of the portal.

Provincial Governor Nirat Pongsitthavorn called Friday on the collaboration of the private sector so workers and civil servants remain at home to “protect themselves and reduce the impact on health.”

Authorities said the situation could even worsen in coming days due to the different forest fires registered in the area and that burn out of control.

Other northern provinces, such as Chiang Rai, Lampang or Nan, also registered “dangerous” levels.

Air pollution, which has been affecting the entire country for months, is one of the recurring themes of the current electoral campaign ahead of the general elections on May 14, with different environmental proposals formulated by almost all parties.

Since the beginning of the year almost 2 million people have needed hospital treatment for respiratory conditions caused by air pollution, according to the Public Health Ministry. EFE


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