The air quality in Pekanbaru is not healthy. It had reached a hazardous level earlier
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Bank Indonesia (BI) Office in Riau Province has evacuated 67 ailment-prone relatives of its employees to West Sumatra Province with thick smoke enveloping the Riau provincial capital of Pekanbaru.

"The air quality in Pekanbaru is not healthy. It had reached a hazardous level earlier," Chief of the Advisory and Economic Development of BI Office in Riau Province Asral said in Pekanbaru, Friday. The decision to evacuate the relatives of the BI employees is the result of a coordination meeting between the BI Office in Riau and the Task Continuation Management Task Force of BI Headquarters in Jakarta.

The air quality in West Sumatra is relatively better. Although haze was reported in West Sumatra it is not as bad as that in Pekanbaru.

The 67 relatives were evacuated on September 17 and are staying at hotels in Padang City with all expenses being borne by BI.

The relatives include a woman who is pregnant and several others suffering from bronchitis and acute respiratory tract infection, he said.

The relatives were relocated to West Sumatra aboard two buses, Asral said.

However, the BI employees in Riau continue to work, as usual, he said. "We have asked them to reduce outdoor activities and wear a mask if they step out of the office," he said.

Haze resulting from land and forest fires has shrouded Pekanbaru for a month now. Between January and September 2019, 304,900 people visited the health service facilities in the city suffering from acute respiratory tract infection, according to the Riau Provincial Health Office.

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Translator: FB Anggoro/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019