Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Pekanbaru city administration, Riau Province, is considering closing schools if the haze, which has engulfed the region for days, continues to worsen.

Acting Mayor of Pekanbaru, Muflihun, said that students may need to study at home if the haze worsens, as the air quality in Pekanbaru has been recorded at an unhealthy level.

"If the haze continues to worsen, we will close schools," he declared, while expressing the hope that the haze would clear soon.

His administration has issued a circular to all principals regarding the situation, asking that outdoor activities at schools be reduced and masks be worn to prevent health issues.

"We also ask people to reduce going outside," he said.

Muflihun has also sent a circular to local institutions and the local community. The circular covers measures to anticipate the bad air quality in Pekanbaru.

The circular covers three points. First, it advises people to reduce outdoor activities and if they have to be outdoors, it urges them to wear masks to prevent acute respiratory infections (ARIs).

Second, it advises people to maintain a healthy lifestyle by drinking more water than usual and consuming nutritious foods.

Lastly, the circular states that the government will take the necessary steps to reduce the health risks if the haze becomes more intense and the air quality reaches a hazardous level.

The city's education office earlier issued a circular requiring students and teachers to wear masks during learning sessions due to the haze caused by forest and land fires.

A teacher at public primary school SDN6 Pekanbaru, Arta Manalu, said on Tuesday (October 3, 2023) that the learning process so far has remained normal and the school has not switched to online learning.

"The learning hours are still normal from Monday to Saturday," Manalu added.

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Translator: Bayu A, Kenzu
Editor: Sri Haryati
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