Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Health Minister Nila Moeloek instructed Riau's health authority to dispatch Public Safety Center (PSC) 119 ambulances to thick smoke-ravaged areas to assist those afflicted by smog from wildfires.

"The ambulances are expected to be on standby, so that they can immediately be dispatched to help local residents in need of emergency assistance," Moeloek noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Thursday.

The community members will be served by paramedics arriving by PSC 119 ambulances no sooner have they called 119. The call center workers, who received the people's phone calls, will identify the location of the needy.

Once the location is identified, the ambulances, placed on standby at health centers or public hospitals, will be sent to the targeted location.

The PSC 119 medical workers will also decide whether their patients should receive further medical treatments at home, hospitals, or merely at health centers, she stated.

Related news: Government makes maximal efforts to fight land, forest fires: Jokowi

Secretary of the Health Ministry's Disease Control and Prevention Directorate General Ahmad Yurianto stated that the PSC 119 ambulances had been sent to serve the people acutely afflicted by the impact of the thick blanket of smog.

Several parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan have been bearing the brunt of the thick smoke arising from wildfires over the past weeks. The thickening smog has also threatened the people's health and economic activities.

In Singkawang, West Kalimantan Province, for instance, the city administration had kept preschool and elementary students home and away from schools over the thick haze cover arising from land and forest fires that conflagrated some parts of the province over the past days.

The city administration shut down schools on Sept 16-18. The local students were required to return to schools on Sept 19, Singkawang City Mayor Tjhai Chui Mie stated.

Mie had appealed to the students' parents to care for their kids' health. Related news: Director named suspect in S Sumatra forest fire

Related news: Walhi presses for stringent measures against firms behind forest fires


Translator: Aditya R, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019