The Ministry of Health (MoH) advised the public in areas with unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings to take preventive measures to reduce the impact on their health.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said measures that can be taken include reducing outdoor physical activities and using face mask when outdoors.

"Physical activities will increase the breathing rate causing more suspended particles to enter the respiratory tract and this situation can increase the risk of diseases due to haze," he said in a statement today.

He also advised the public to be aware of changes in air quality levels in their respective areas by checking with the Department of Environment’s (DoE) official website https://apims.doe.gov.my/home.html.

"The MoH will continue to monitor haze-related diseases at sentinel clinics from time to time," he said, adding that the public should seek treatment at the nearest health facility if they are unwell.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said other preventive measures include closing windows to reduce the haze from entering homes or buildings as well as avoiding activities such as smoking that can increase air pollution in the house or buildings.

Apart from this, he also said when using air-conditioners, select the operation (mode) of the internal air cycle while driving. He added that one should consume at least eight glasses of drinking water even if you do not feel thirsty to maintain the body's hydration level.

The public can obtain the list of preventive measures to reduce health effects of the haze on the MoH website at https://www.infosihat.gov.my/index.php/isu-semasa/51-jerebu.

A total of 12 areas recorded API readings at unhealthy levels as of 4 pm today, with Nilai in Negeri Sembilan being the most affected area with an API reading of 162.

An API reading of 0 to 50 is categorised as good; 51 to 100 (moderate); 101 to 200 (unhealthy); 201 to 300 (very unhealthy), and 300 and above as hazardous.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency