Thailand's air pollution drives millions to the doctor: "I cough so much »
Sylvie Claire / April 20, 2023
In Thailand, about 2.4 million people have suffered health problems related to air pollution since the beginning of the year, said health authorities in the country where some regions are suffocating under a toxic cloud.
Poor air quality has prompted 2.4 million people to seek medical attention since January, with 184,465 hospital admissions this week alone, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent secretary of the public health department, said Wednesday.
According to the air quality monitoring company IQAir, Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai were among the most polluted cities in the world on Thursday morning.
Dr. Opas said that respiratory problems, dermatitis, eye inflammation and sore throats were among the most common reasons for visits.
Health officials urged people to use high-quality N95 pollution masks, close windows and doors, spend as little time as possible outdoors and exercise indoors.
"Today it's so smoggy. I'm coughing so much," said one user on Facebook. "My throat is sore. I took a Covid test but this is not it. When I see the level of pollution, it could be that. »
The toxic "smog" is linked to smoke from forest fires and stubble burning by farmers, experts say, as well as vehicle and industrial emissions.
Thailand has a population of more than 70 million and poor air quality has become a hot topic in the run-up to the May 14elections, with the outgoing government accused of not doing enough to tackle the problem.