Authorities urged to give students face masks

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MIRI: Parents here are calling on the authorities to distribute face or surgical masks to school children as haze has lingered in the city for some time.

A pre-school at Desa Senadin is also hit by haze.

Tenby International School Miri appears hazy yesterday morning.

Desa Senadin resident Lim Tee Peng said haze was bad for health, especially those with respiratory problems like asthma.

He said he believed thus far none of the schools and institutions of higher learning here had given masks to their students, or halt outdoor activities.

“If masks are not given out, health problems such as coughing and red eyes among students may arise,” said Lim, who called up The Borneo Post yesterday.

Many parts of the city, including Desa Senadin, Tudan and Kuala Baram, were hazy yesterday, partly due to continuous burning of peat soil underground in Kuala Baram.

The wind had also deserted the city. Places such as Curtin University Miri, Sarawak,
Tenby International School, SK Kuala Baram, SMK Pujut, SK Senadin, ILP , Miri, SMK Merbau, Miri and IKBN Miri had ‘smoky looks’.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at ILP Miri was 79 at 9am and dipped to 72 by noon yesterday. However, some people believed the API in Kuala Baram should be more than 100 (unhealthy level), but there is no official data as there is no API equipment installed there.

Tudan resident Angela Samuel, 34, said she was worried as the weather was stifling and the haze had lingered on for quite some time already.

Two of her children are studying at SK Senadin, and nearly every morning they wake up to haze and the foul smell of something burning.

“I am worried about my children’s health. I hope the school will at least provide pupils with face masks.”

When contacted, Senadin assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin said he too was concerned about the situation and would get updates from the Department of Environment.