Jambi (ANTARA) - A deterioration in the air quality in Jambi city, with concentration of harmful PM2.5 particles indicating hazardous level, left the local authorities with no choice but to temporarily shut down schools.

The concentration of PM2.5, measured on September 8, 2019, at 9:30 p.m. local time, with air pollutant at 513, was above the air quality standard and categorized as hazardous, so the government decided to temporarily close down certain schools, Abu Bakar, spokesman of the Jambi Municipality Administration, stated here on Monday.

The Jambi mayor has issued Decree No. 180/179/HKU/2019 as a precautionary measure against haze emanating from forest fires. The local government has appealed to the people to curtail any activities outdoors and to wear face masks while venturing out.

Kindergartens halted activities for a 72-hour period on Sept 9-11, while elementary schools put a stop to class activities on Sept 9-10 for the first to fourth grade students, and cut short class hours for fifth to ninth graders.

In the meantime, the Pekanbaru City Health Office reported that the number of people ailing from acute respiratory tract infections in the Riau provincial capital between July and August 2019 had reached 7,745.

"The figure is based on reports from all public health service posts (Puskesmas) in Pekanbaru City, comprising 3,540 cases recorded in July and 4,205 cases in August," Muhammad Amin, acting chief of the Pekanbaru City Health Office, remarked in Pekanbaru on August 26, 2019.

A spike in the number of people ailing from acute respiratory tract infections in the last couple of months is an outcome of the haze arising from land and forest fires in several districts and cities in Riau and the neighboring provinces.

However, the increase is relatively low, at 900 per month than over three thousand in August 2018 when no haze was spotted, he pointed out.

"In August 2019, the figure had already reached over four thousand, thereby translating to the fact that not all suffering from acute respiratory tract infection were affected only by the haze," he stated. Related news: Haze forces temporary closure of schools in Pekanbaru


Translator: M Hanapi, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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