Thai health officials have sounded the alarm because of the huge number of hospitalizations caused by air pollution, writes the Independent. The Bangkok authorities are installing special protection rooms in kindergartens and plan to introduce a remote work format for local residents, the article stresses.

Health services in Thailand are experiencing great difficulties due to rising levels of air pollution: the capital Bangkok is most severely affected by smog from exhaust fumes, industrial emissions and smoke from burning crops. About 200,000 people have been hospitalized in the past week alone, and the number of people affected by air pollution has exceeded 1.3 million since the beginning of the year, the Independent reports. 

According to monitoring company IQAir, the capital of a popular tourist country ranked third among the most polluted cities in the world. The health ministry advised pregnant women and children to stay at home as 50 areas of Bangkok recorded dangerous levels of PM2.5 particles in the air – considered the most dangerous because they can penetrate the bloodstream and damage internal organs.

The capital’s authorities said that if the situation does not improve, a decree will be issued to work from home, and advised residents to wear protective masks such as N95. Moreover, kindergartens in Bangkok have equipped special rooms with air purifiers to protect young children, and monitoring of automobile emissions has also been stepped up.

“We have to step up, encouraging people to work from home. As for schools … they may have to avoid outdoor activities to prevent health impacts on children,” the health department head said during a news conference.

Thailand faced a similar situation in January and February of this year, when air quality also deteriorated sharply. According to officials, the dense smog is influenced by the windless weather in addition to the above factors, writes Independent.

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