CHIANG RAI – Public Health Minister Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanawin has instructed provincial public health offices in Chiang Rai and eight other provinces to closely monitor effects of smog caused by forest fires on health.
Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanawin said Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, Phrae, Nan and Tak, hospitals were told to prepared medical equipment and medicine for people affected by haze.
The hospitals would dispatch rapid response teams to the areas with smog patients in order to assist them and reduce hazardous air pollutants, said the minister.
The local residents are urged to not burn forests, grass, weeds or garbage in order to help decrease pollution in the air. 150,000 face masks have been handed out to people in the nine provinces.
Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanawin also warned that children, pregnant women, senior people and patients of respiratory and heart diseases should exercise extra caution during this period.
Citizens should keep abreast of air quality information and avoid inhaling smog, and a face mask is highly recommended when dust pollution is over 120 micrograms/cubic meters.