Haze-induced respiratory ailments inflict 1,136 Pekanbaru residents

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - At least 1,136 residents of Pekanbaru, Riau Province, have suffered from upper respiratory tract infection following exposure to haze arising from forest fires raging in the province's several districts.

All community health posts in Pekanbaru were notified to be prepared to deliver optimal services to respiratory patients, Mohammad Amin, acting head of the Pekanbaru health office, noted here on Wednesday.

Most outpatients were people belonging to the productive age group that often conducted outdoor activities, he explained.

He called on Pekanbaru residents to take care of their health and stay indoors when haze shrouds their city.

In the meantime, the Terra and Aqua Satellites, on Tuesday, at 6 a.m. local time, detected 152 hotspots on Sumatra Island, including 75 in Riau Province, according to the Pekanbaru meteorology, climatology, and geophysics station.

"Riau had the largest number of hotspots, reaching 75," Gita Dewi Siregar, an analyst at the station, had remarked in Pekanbaru on Tuesday.

Some 10 hotspots were observed in Aceh, seven in Jambi, two in West Sumatra, five in Lampung, 25 in South Sumatra, 18 in North Sumatra, and 10 in Bangka Belitung.

In Riau, 25 hotspots were found in Rokan Hilir District, 17 in Pelalawan, 15 in Indragiiri Hilir, nine in Siak, three in Bengkalis, two in Meranti Islands, three in Kampar, and one each in Dumai and Kauntan Singingi.

Of the total 75 hotspots, 53 were confirmed to be fire spots, with 19 found in Rokan Hilir, 13 in Pelalawan, 12 in Indragiri Hilir, five in Siak, and two each in Kampar and Bengkalis.

In Jakarta, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) chaired a meeting at the State Palace on Tuesday to discuss efforts to combat forest fires.

Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, Chief of the Indonesian Defence Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, Chief of the National Police General Tito Karnavian, several governors, and local authorities were among the attendees at the meeting.

Haze from Riau has reportedly spread to Malaysia, while President Jokowi is scheduled to visit Malaysia on August 9, 2019.

Source: ANTARA News

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