BANGKOK, Thailand – Nearly 300 schools run by the mayor of Thailand’s capital have been ordered shut after air pollution worsened significantly in the last week in and around Bangkok.
Mayor Atthaporn Thammasarit has ordered the closure of a total of 292 schools in the capital and surrounding areas as of Monday, the only remaining non-emergency school days in this month, said Teeran Kraichit, deputy director-general of the city’s public school office.
Government offices, hospitals and major tourist sites also have been advised to shut temporarily due to increased air pollution over the past week. Students, including those attending private schools run by English-language International Baccalaureate program organizations, will not be allowed to return to school on Monday.
The capital has been suffering mostly from smog caused by the burning of used cooking oil and garbage in some farming areas. Smaller blights caused by power plant fires and fires in oil fields elsewhere have contributed to the poor air quality.
At one point last week, a company that produces the insecticide DDT in Kanchanaburi province that spreads smog along the coast declared a work stoppage, in protest of poor pollution control.
Drivers are advised to minimize their use of exhaust-spewing vehicles as much as possible.