Monday, September 14, 2015

Over 25.5 thousand people taken ill by haze in Riau

The Riau health office has recorded that 25,524 people have fallen ill due to the haze as the air quality has reached unhealthy levels in the province.

"Most of them, or 20,901, suffer from respiratory ailments," Head of the Riau health office Andra Sjafril noted here, Monday.

The figure was obtained from the number of people visiting community health centers and hospitals in 12 districts and cities in the province, from June 29 to September 12, 2015.

Some 454 people suffered from pneumonia, 893 ailed from asthma, 1,356 from eye irritation, and 1,920 from skin irritation.

In Pekanbaru, 3,548 people are suffering from respiratory ailments, 2,831 in Kuantan Singingi, 2,576 in Siak, 2,503 in Dumai, 2,227 in Rokan Hulu, and 300 in Meranti Islands.

"I urge the inhabitants who need to venture outdoors to wear face masks of N95 type," he stated.

From September 14 until September 24, four health command posts will remain open respectively at the Sultan Syarif Kasim II airport, the ex-MTQ building complex, the Central Market, and Rumbai in Pekanbaru.

Each post, manned by a doctor and two nurses, will offer first aid to those being affected by the haze.

"Besides this, the command post will also provide face masks and consultations regarding the effects of haze on the health of the residents," he noted.

The authorities have advised the people in Riau to stay indoors, to wear face masks while venturing outdoors, and to stay amply hydrated and eat nutritious food to stay healthy amid the haze problem.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered every stakeholder to help extinguish forest fires and to tackle haze engulfing parts of Indonesia over the past few weeks, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head Willem Rampangilei stated.

"The presidents instruction on the ongoing haze disaster is to extinguish the fires and to end the haze problem immediately," Rampangilei remarked while visiting the command post of the forest fire task force at the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base, Pekanbaru, recently.

"Within two weeks, plantation fires must be put out," he quoted Jokowi as saying. (Antara)

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