Authorities in Two Provinces Close Schools Due to Air Pollution

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Authorities in Two Provinces Close Schools Due to Air Pollution
Student riding a bike with thick haze in the air. ( Photo : Toun's Journey )

Due to concerns about dangerous air pollution levels affecting the health of students, all schools in Thaphabat District, Bolikhamxay Province, and Xayaboury Province, have been ordered to close from 28-31 March.

On Monday, the Head of Office, Mr. Visanou Phiengphachan, issued a notice ordering the closure of all schools in Thaphabat District, Bolikhamxay Province for at least two days due to concerns for student health amid hazardous air pollution.

Xayboury’s Provincial Office of Education and Sports also issued a notice on 28 March to shut down all primary schools due to the high concentration of PM2.5 in the air.

As for secondary schools, authorities suggested they take precautionary measures laid out by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Reports show that the levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) in northern Laos have remained at dangerous levels, resulting in domestic flight cancellations due to low visibility. PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers, which can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases when inhaled.

Authorities from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have advised residents in areas with high concentrations of PM2.5 to limit outdoor activities and wear protective face masks as necessary.