Better air quality brings Bangkokians out in force to celebrate Chinese New Year

People celebrated Chinese New Year on Monday amid better air quality in Greater Bangkok, as the Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported all areas of the capital as having safe levels of PM2.5 – airborne particulates no larger than 2.5 microns in diameter.

The agency also predicted that PM2.5 levels on Tuesday would slightly increase in some areas, but all would still be within the safety limit of 50 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic metre of air.

Although the situation has improved, Bangkok Governor Pol General Aswin Kwanmuang said on his Facebook page that he would see that various measures were continued during this period, including having small aircraft from the Bangkok Aviation Centre spray water over Rama II Road in the Samae Dam area of Bang Khun Thien district on another eight or nine missions.

According to the PCD, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Bangkok Aviation Centre dispatched 11 flights of small aircraft to spray water over Bang Khae, Bang Bon, Thawi Watthana and Taling Chan districts during the weekend, while all 50 Bangkok districts had road-cleaning activities carried out on Sunday night, including the Kanchanapisek Road, Rama II Road and Kalapapreuk Road areas.

On Monday, the National Environment Board held a meeting to set guidelines for PM2.5-tackling measures for Greater Bangkok in both the short and long terms.

During the Chinese New Year holidays from February 4-6, 1,500 factories have been closed, contributing largely to the lessening of air pollution.

Meanwhile, the Office of Basic Education Commission said it was up to each school’s discretion whether to continue the suspension of classes, after the high level of air pollution had last week caused many Bangkok schools to close as a safety precaution for students.

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