SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday urged Singaporeans to stay calm and carry on with their normal routine, even as the country faced the possibility of the haze not abating any time soon.
"This is a problem that will last at least a few weeks, maybe a couple of months until September or October, so I think we have to be psychologically prepared," he told some 300 residents during a dialogue in his ward of Ang Mo Kio GRC.
"Keep on working, keep on living. But be ready, if it gets worse, we know what to do."
He sought to draw the distinction between the haze and the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) crisis.
Noting that Sars was deadly and infectious, he added that the haze was "not something which is so poisonous that you must avoid all contact".
"The haze can make your illness worse if you are ill. But for most people, the haze is an inconvenience, life can carry on."
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan made a similar point on Sunday, adding that most people should have "no problem" with the haze especially if they stayed indoors.
And face masks are not needed indoors, PM Lee pointed out.
"If you are normal, healthy, you should not need the mask. Unless it's really bad outside," he said in Mandarin.