Breathing problems on the rise, likely due to haze

KUCHING - More people are seeking treatment for respiratory ailments, likely due to the haze, said doctors in the state.

Dr Wong Mee Heang of a clinic in Batu Kawa said the number of such patients increased by about 20 per cent in the past week.

"We are seeing more asthmatic cases and patients with bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infection, cough and flu," she said.

She added that these ailments were usually aggravated by haze, which returned yesterday after a brief respite.

Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Wong Howe Tung said he also saw an increase in such cases.

After four days of relatively clear air conditions, the haze returned to Sarawak yesterday with Kuching, Samarahan and Sri Aman areas recording unhealthy air quality levels.

Meanwhile, the Singapore-based ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre reported that Kali­mantan was still shrouded in smoke and haze as dry weather conditions prevailed.

Images from the NOAA-18 satellite, which tracks open-burning sites larger than 10sq m, showed 475 hotspots in Kalimantan on Monday.

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