CHIANG MAI, 19 March 2014 The haze situation in Chiang Mai remains critical, with more than 16,000 people having been admitted to hospital because of the pollution.
The sky over Chiang Mai city remains blanketed by smoke from forest fires, which have persisted over the area for more than a week. Most of the people going about outdoors were reportedly wearing face masks to protect themselves from the pollution. Visibility remains severely hampered.
Of the more than 16,000 patients admitted to hospital so far, 8,078 had heart or arteries conditions. 6,028 were diagnosed with respiratory problems, 1,352 had eye inflammation and 1,392 persons had skin conditions.
In the meantime, as many as 60,000 people have fallen ill in 8 other provinces in the North. Public Health officials are preparing to hand out 500,000 face masks to people afflicted by the haze. Locals are also advised to avoid exercising outdoors during the current period of high air particulate matter reading.