The city of Bangkok in an opaque fog due to air pollution, in Thailand, on March 7, 2023. ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA / REUTERS

More than 1.3 million people have fallen ill in the kingdom since the start of the year due to polluted air.

Some 200,000 people in Thailand have been admitted to hospital this week for health problems linked to air pollution, health authorities said, as alert thresholds continued to be exceeded on Thursday (March 9th). Bangkok.

More than 1.3 million people have fallen ill in the kingdom since the start of the year due to polluted air, the Ministry of Public Health said on Wednesday evening.

A high level of fine particles

The capital Bangkok, a megalopolis of around 11 million inhabitants popular with tourists from all over the world, has been living since the beginning of the week in an opaque fog which encourages the population to wear the mask outside. THE “smog” toxic that covers the horizon, is linked to emissions from vehicles and industries, as well as fumes from the burning of seasonal crops, recurrent at this time of year.

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A doctor from the Ministry of Public Health has asked Bangkokians to wear an N95 mask (equivalent to an FFP2) when going out. Children, pregnant women and people with respiratory or heart problems should also stay indoors, Kriangkrai Namthaisong added. The fifty districts of Bangkok all presented on Wednesday March 8 levels of fine particles (PM 2.5) (particularly dangerous because they penetrate deep into the lungs) well above the prevention thresholds.

A polluted and congested metropolis

This Thursday at noon, in the central district of Pathumwan, the rate of 70 micrograms per cubic meter over the last 24 hours was noted by a local agency for monitoring air pollution. It greatly exceeds the recommendation of the World Health Organization (15). The authorities of the metropolis (Bangkok Metropole Administration, BMA) have set up checkpoints to check the exhaust pipes of cars, said a spokesman for the BMA, Aekvarunyoo Amrapala.

On March 7, 2023, the 69-meter-tall giant Buddha statue at Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple is almost hidden by smog, caused by air pollution in Bangkok. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP

Public crèches have “dust-free partsequipped with air purifiers to protect the youngest, he continued. During a previous episode of peak pollution at the end of January, the BMA asked residents to work from home, a measure that “is still on the tableaccording to the rep. The new governor of Bangkok, Chadchart Sittipunt, was elected in May on promises to make life more pleasant in a highly polluted and congested megalopolis.

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