About 2.4 million people in Thailand have sought hospital treatment for medical problems linked to air pollution since the start of the year, health officials said, as toxic smog choked parts of the country.
Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai were among the most polluted cities in the world Thursday morning, according to air quality monitoring company IQAir.
Permanent Secretary of the Department of Public Health Dr. Opas Karnkawenpong said Wednesday that poor air quality has led to 2.4 million people seeking medical treatment since the start of the year, with 184,465 people being hospitalized this week alone.
Upas said respiratory problems, dermatitis, eye infections and sore throats are among the most common medical problems.
Health officials urged people to use high-quality anti-pollution N95 masks, close windows and doors, reduce time outside and exercise indoors.
“Today is full of smog. I’m coughing a lot,” a Thai Facebook user said.
“I have a sore throat and I’m coughing a lot. I got tested for COVID but it’s not like that. Given the level of contamination, that could be the case.”
Experts said smoke from wildfires and farmers burning crop residues has polluted the air in parts of the country.
Thailand is home to more than 70 million people, and poor air quality has become a hot-button issue ahead of the country’s May 14 elections, with the incumbent government accused of not doing enough to tackle the problem.
© 2023 AFP
the quote: Air Pollution in Thailand Drives Millions to Seek Medical Assistance (2023, April 20) Retrieved April 20, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-thailand-air-pollution-millions-medical.html
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