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Health Officials on Alert as Haze Reports Grow in Northern Thailand



Students wear face mask to protect themselves from haze pollution in Chiang Mai. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)



CHIANG RAI – Health official in Northern Thailand are closely monitoring the looming haze situation, amid threats to the health of people and the economy from the smog.

The Public Health Ministry is now on alert as local residents in Chiang Rai and other northern provinces have reported seeing a growing amount of haze in their villages.

Health officials have reported that presently the levels of small dust particles have not exceeded safe limits but the ministry has started making preparations.

In Chiang Mai the Disease Control Department has instructed the Office of Disease Prevention and Control to prepare a Surveillance and Rapid Response Team so that immediate medical help could be made available to local residents as soon as the haze threat rises.

Department director-general Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsuk Sunday said people most at risk were small children, the elderly, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma or allergies.

By Petchanet Pratruangkraithe

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