PETALING JAYA, June 23: Due to the worsening haze condition, the Selangor Government will begin distributing 60,000 health masks to the public next week.
The health masks would cost a total of RM60,000 and it will be distributed to village heads, Councillors and representatives of the people, and it will be distributed in schools, toll stops, motorcycle paths and to senior citizens.
According to the Selangor State Environment Exco, Elizabeth Wong today, the mask distribution will be done following the level of the Air Pollution Index (API) in Selangor which is expected to increase to 200 by this evening.
Therefore, she expects that the State Government would add provisions to purchase these masks based on current situations.
“Over 100 means that it is not at a very healthy level, but has not reached a dangerous level.
“But because people have difference tolerance levels from each other, there are some who can tolerate it, and there are some who cannot, such as children or senior citizens.
“So they have to be attentive if (the level) is over 100 and we expect that it would reach 200 later in the evening. We advise for all outdoor activities to be reduced or stopped altogether,” said Elizabeth when met by TVSelangor at the Seri Selangor Golf Club just now.
Elizabeth added that the API readings in Selangor as of 11.00 this morning is already over 100 and it is expected to rise further due to open burning in Sumatera, Indonesia.
“If we look at the index of the hotspot sites in Sumatra, Indonesia, and also the direction the wind is blowing, I do not expect the haze, especially in the West Coast of the Peninsular, to improve in the near future.
“So it is better is the people in Selangor brace themselves to weather the haze which is said to be worse than in previous years,” added Elizabeth.
Touching on the same issue, Elizabeth once again reiterated the Selangor Government’s stance of not tolerating at all any party that carries out open burning.
“The State Government adopts a zero tolerance stance against any party who carried out open burning. We can seize land and the Department of Environment (DOE) will file a case in court.”