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Schools, Child Care Centres To Close If API Readings Worsen

Schools, Child Care Centres To Close If API Readings Worsen

Outdoor activities in schools will also be suspended if the API reading surpasses 100.

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The season of haze is returning to Malaysia and if the situation worsens then schools, kindergartens, and nurseries will be closed.

In a statement, Datuk Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaafar, director-general of the Department of Environment (DoE), emphasised that schools, kindergartens, and nurseries must continuously check the air pollution index (API) readings, as reported by NST.

“If the trend shows an increase towards 200, preparations need to be made to shut down the institution” he said.

He also added If the API readings exceed 100, extracurricular activities must also be suspended.

A value of 0 to 50 on the API scale indicates good health, 51 to 100 indicates moderate health, 101 to 200 indicates severe health, and 201 to 300 indicates hazardous health.

This particular issue was also highlighted by Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek on Monday.

She also stated that if the API value surpasses 100, schools are not permitted to conduct outside activities.

“We often stress that these guidelines apply to everyone and must be followed to avoid any untoward incident,” she stated as reported by Bernama.

“We will seek the advice of the Health Ministry from time to time regarding recommendations to close (schools) or wear face masks and so on,” she added.

She also said that when the API reading exceeded 150 for a period of more than 24 hours, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) would activate the Disaster Management Committee at the local, state, or national level.

Parents have already started taking precautions for their children during this time of haze.

According to an article by The Straits Times, Myra Latifa Abdul Rahman stated she tries to limit her 10-year-old son’s outdoor activities and makes sure that he wears an N95 face mask whenever he goes to school and tuition.

A 34-year-old doctor and father of twins Dr Adam Mikael Muzhafar wants the authorities to offer early warnings about the haze so that parents may prepare.

“I hope steps can also be taken to prevent neighbouring countries from spreading polluted air as it poses a health threat to all of us,” he stated.

He also added that having an indoor air purifier is useful to filter out the harmful particles in the air in the surroundings.

Furthermore, Professor Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh, a public health specialist at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, cautioned against ignoring the haze since 94% of it contains dangerous air particles that are as fine as 2.5 micrometers and may readily penetrate the lungs and circulation.

“I would advise people to close their doors and windows and clean the house to get rid of dust,” she stated.

As of now, according to the API reading in Kuala Lumpur, it is ranging from 51 to 100 while it is still high in Sri Aman (Sarawak) where it registered 136 as of 4 pm and 106 in IPD Serian (Sarawak) as of 4 pm.

Thus, it is advisable for all to follow the health guidelines that are given by the government and take care of their health as much as possible.

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