The Cambodian embassy in Thailand has advised migrants living there to protect themselves from air pollution which has reached PM2.5 in the air quality index.
In an announcement on Thursday, the embassy said that smog in Bangkok and some provinces such as Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nonthaburi, and Nakhon Pathom has hit the PM2.5 level when microscopic particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter can be lodged deep into the lungs and be passed on to other organs.
The embassy noted that because of the pollution the Thai government has temporarily closed some schools and educational institutions to protect the health of students.
“All Cambodians who are present in Thailand, please take care your health and wear N95 protective masks,” the embassy said.
The air pollution in Thailand has sparked a fake Facebook post, that has gone viral, that says Phnom Penh is also hit. It warns people to wear masks when they are outside.
However, the Environment Ministry has completely rejected the false news.
Neth Pheaktra, ministry spokesman, yesterday said that the air quality in Cambodia has not yet been affected by smog in neighbouring countries.
“The air quality in Cambodia is good and the particles in the air are normal so there is nothing to be concerned about,” he said.
Mr Pheaktra also said that ministry officials monitor and evaluate the air quality every 24 hours. He added that the ministry will provide regular updates if any problem is detected.
Thailand’s Bangkok Post newspaper, citing a source from the Pollution Control Department, reported that as of yesterday morning the air quality in Bangkok and surrounding provinces had improved with readings ranging from moderate to good levels.
Late last week, the air quality level in Bangkok reached PM2.5, prompting the authorities on Wednesday afternoon to temporarily close 400 public schools.
To reduce pollution, the Thai government has taken some steps such as creating artificial rain clouds and cracking down on vehicle emissions. It has also banned people from using firecrackers and fireworks during the Lunar New Year festival.