Riau Governor Syamsuar has declared the status of an emergency due to the air pollution from the smog. The emergency status will be in operation from September 23 to 30, 2019.
Since the smog blanketed the province, especially in Pekanbaru city, the government has activated health posts in all community health centers (puskesmas) as well as in private and public hospitals, Head of the Riau Provincial Health Office Mimi Nazir said.
The local government has also opened 15 shelters equipped with medical personnel and medicines to help people who are affected by smog-related illness.
"We provide doctors, nurses, medicines and oxygen cylinders for people in need," Nazir said in Pekanbaru Monday.
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The cost of healthcare for people who are suffering from smog-related illnesses will be borne by the government, Riau Governor Syamsuar announced.
"All medical treatment for people who are ill due to the smog is free. If someone is asked to pay, please report it directly to us," he said.
More and more people in Riau, especially children, are getting ill due to the dangerous smog that enters buildings through the ventilation, even into rooms with air conditioners, and can be easily inhaled.
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"Children are getting weaker. They do not want to eat, their body heat is high and it can lead to seizures. Finally, we are forced to take them to the hospital, where the doctor finds bacteria in their bodies because of the smog," Ferdian, a resident of Pekanbaru said while narrating his experience of treating a child affected with smog-related illness at Eria Bunda Mother and Children Hospital.
Ferdian's three-year-old child needs an infusion of liquids due to the lack of fluids in his body and undergoes nebulizer treatment four hours a day, to expel the phlegm that has become lumpy in his respiratory tract. (INE)
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