Facemasks sent to alleviate haze problems in the south
Facemasks have been sent to some southern provinces to help people affected by the haze from Indonesia, Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri said on Monday.
He said 60,000 facemasks had already been sent to Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces to help protect peopleatrisk from inhaling the smoke from forest fires, while another 50,000 others were being as backups at the Disease Control Department, as the situation would likely linger.
After forest fires on Indonesia's Sumatra Island caused dense smoke shroud the five provinces and threatened residents' health, Wittaya instructed local hospitals to prepare medical supplies and watch out for people falling ill as a result of inhaling smoke, especially those suffering from heart disease and respiratory problems, as well as the elderly and children.
Songkhla's Disease Control and Prevention Office 12 would distribute 12,000 facemasks to each of the five provinces, Office director Dr Suwich Thampaolo said. Fineparticle dust level in the five provinces remained within safety standards. He said respiratory patients at hospitals had not been affected as yet with consultations for respiratory problems at around 50100 respiratory at each hospital per day, which was a normal rate.