Brunei-Muara PSI reading 47 highest on record

National 2 minutes, 24 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI-MUARA district recorded its highest Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) reading since March 26, 2015 with air quality registering at near “moderate”.

The Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation in a statement said that the PSI readings recorded as of 5pm yesterday saw Brunei-Muara’s air quality was still classified as “good”.

However the district’s PSI reading of 47 was the highest recording thus far narrowly exceeding the 50 point mark.

PSI readings below 50 are termed as good while readings between 50 and 100 are moderate.

JASTRE said that several areas in Brunei Darussalam are still experiencing slightly hazy conditions between 7am to 5pm yesterday.

Air quality in Temburong and Tutong continue to remain good at 20 and 27 recorded readings respectively.

Belait was the only district recorded with a moderate air quality at a PSI reading 51.

“Despite an improvement in air quality (good), the public are still urged to refrain from conducting any open burning activities that will worsen the hazy condition,” the statement read.

JASTRE also conveyed the Ministry of Health’s public advisory that “healthy individuals” may be able to carry out outdoor physical activities at a moderate PSI reading.

However children, the elderly and people with asthma, lung and heart disease are advised to reduce outdoor physical activities.

“The public are also advised to drink plenty of water and head to the nearest health centre, if showing symptoms such as cough, runny nose, eye irritation and breathing difficulty.”

Meanwhile face masks intended to shield one from inhaling harmful air that are sold at shops are selling like hot cakes.

Asmeera, a sales promoter at retail pharmacy store Guardian’s branch at The Mall, Gadong, said that face masks at the store were sold out. “Some customers have even bought whole boxes of them – each box contains about 50 face masks.”

Asmeera added that she said the masks are useful especially for children even if the haze is not thick yet as it is better to be extra cautious.

A saleswoman from Winmark, another store at the mall, also confirmed that the sales of face masks have been quite popular recently since the haze.

Members of the public who seek further information on the situation can access and obtain the PSI readings online at www.env.gov.bn at every two hours.

JASTRE assured that it is closely monitoring the situation and the public will be kept informed of the air quality situation through RTB radio stations and the department’s website.

The public is advised to refrain from conducting open burning activities and other actions that may worsen the haze conditions.

The public can contact the JASTRE for any complaints on open burning and query on the air quality by contacting the Darussalam Hotline 123 or 2241262 extension 405.

The public are advised to report immediately any incidences of bush and forest fires to the Fire and Rescue Department at the hotline 995.

The Brunei Times