Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Health ministry continues to monitor haze situation, says minister

The Health Ministry, through the respective State Health Departments, continues to monitor ailments linked to the haze, namely, upper respiratory tract infections, asthma and eye diseases.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pic) said in a statement today, that the monitoring was conducted by selected sentinel clinics in states afflicted by the haze.

He said those experiencing ailment such as cough, flu, asthma, eye problems and chronic lung infection should go to the clinic quickly if their situation worsened.

"The ministry wishes to advise the public to take preventive measures to reduce the effect of the haze including reducing physical activities outside the house, always seek to be in a building and, if forced to go out, to wear suitable nose and mouth masks.

"Furthermore, ensure air in the house/building is clean by reducing internal sources of pollution such as cigarette smoke. When driving and using air-conditioning, switch to internal air circulation operation mode," he said.

He also encouraged the public to drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day, and to wash hands and face with clean water after any activities.

Subramaniam said the ministry had monitored the haze in the country from 52 Department of Environment (DOE) air quality monitoring stations, since 7am on February 26.

"Based on our monitoring, several states on the West coast of the peninsula were found to be experiencing haze with unhealthy Air Pollution Index (API) readings (exceeding 100)," he said.

The areas are Nilai, Banting, Petaling Jaya and Batu Muda (Kuala Lumpur) as of 5pm today.

According to the DOE website, as of 5pm today, 19 areas recorded good API levels and 27 areas recorded moderate API readings.

The public can seek information on preventive measures through the health ministry's website at InfoSihat andMOH. – Bernama, March 4, 2014.

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