CHIANG RAI – Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has convened a meeting to discuss the ongoing air pollution in nine provinces and is preparing to hand out 290,000 pollution resistant masks to people in all affected areas.
While chairing a video conference with local health agencies, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Public Health Ministry Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, was informed that a total of nine provinces in the northern region are currently affected by air-borne particulate matter of less than 10 microns (PM10) including Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Mae Hong Son, Lampang, Lamphun, and Tak.
Aqicn.org revealed that Chiang Rai and Nan faced unhealthy levels of PM2.5, with 160mg and 144mg respectively.
Smoke induced air pollution in these provinces is an annual occurrence and usually lasts until April.
Dr. Opas asked all responsible units to keep air quality in their areas under control and continue to raise public awareness of the situation.
The 290,000 facial masks will be handed out to endangered individuals, according to Dr. Opas.
Meanwhile, mobile health teams will visit affected communities to provide free medical treatment to those in need especially the most vulnerable group which includes people with respiratory diseases, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
By Thammarat Thadaphrom
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