As the haze persists, giving Singaporeans unnecessary worry, we wonder, when this hoo-hah is going to end. What is the Singapore and Indonesian government doing in the meantime?
When will the haze end?
A question that almost every Singaporean is actively asking at this very moment. “When will the haze end?”
According to reports, it looks like we might have to deal with the haze till November, that is for another two months. Let’s look a little deeper about what is being done at the moment to help take the edge off this health situation.
Actions by the government
With PSI levels crossing into the hazardous range, the MOE had to close the schools for a day. It is only natural for our government to react fast to curb the problem at hand.
The Singapore Government is pushing for the Indonesian government to take action against errant corporations. Quoting Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, “We need urgent and definitive action by Indonesia to tackle the problem at source.”
Cloud seeding in Indonesia
Is the Indonesian government doing their part in tackling the haze?
According to a report on Straits Times, Hadi Daryanto, Forestry Ministry general secretary revealed that there is no guarantee that Indonesia can effectively alleviate the haze situation short of a “miracle”. He quoted a forecast from Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in which the much needed downpour will only happen on June 28.
He added in the report:”We have considered creating artificial rain to put out the fires, but that would take two weeks. So we’ve decided to leave it in the hands of nature. And let’s just pray for that.If there is no downpour then the haze could last for weeks, or even months, as we try to generate artificial rain.”
Let’s do our part
Everyone should be familiar with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings by now, with the range of 300 to 400 being hazardous and anything above that is considered life threatening to ill and elderly people.
We quote Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, “remain calm and look out for one another”. Our family is of our utmost importance right now, and if our loved ones experience any haze related illness, stay calm and visit your general practitioner (GP) or polyclinics, whichever convenient.
Watch: Singapore- Indonesia tussle over haze problem
In fact, our government has drawn up a list of measures regarding medical bills. As reported in Today Online, “Starting today, the Government will subsidise the needy, the young and the elderly on medical bills incurred at designated general practitioner clinics for respiratory problems and conjunctivitis. At the polyclinics, every Singaporean will enjoy the subsidy. Under this special scheme, most patients will pay S$10 or less per visit.
At the GP clinics, the Government will be subsidising S$30 of the bill for each visit by Singaporeans aged 18 and below and those above 65, as well as Community Health Assist Scheme, Public Assistance and Medical Fee Exemption card holders.”
Let’s not panic with regards to this haze situation and start employing the use of the face mask. The N95 face mask is indeed handy and a popular choice of purchase in pharmacies.
Do not purchase any common surgical mask. Citing from pharmacist Sean Ang as reported in xinmsn, the N95 particulate respirator, “is designed to cover a large percentage of all these particles”.
Measures to combat the haze
Amid all these measures, there are minute things that we can do in combatting the haze. Here is a list of all the things that we can do in keeping our family safe.
1. Clean yourself often. Even if it is a quick errand, take a quick shower when you return, and soak your clothes as haze particles might linger in your house.
2. Do not smoke. Why are you adding smoke to your lungs when the air is already dirty enough? Let’s not deplete the essential nutrients in your body and at the same time, causing second hand smoke to others.
3. Protect yourself. Use a moisturizer to help hydrate your skin and take vitamin C to improve your immunity.
4. Eat right! Drinking water more than you can will not cause harm. Cut down on coffee and alcohol to prevent a loss of nutrients from the body. Eat more fish as they are high in omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Get an air purifier. Although a rather expensive alternative, a little investment for your family won’t bite you.