Singapore gets a breather

Singapore gets a breather

SINGAPORE - Singapore enjoyed its first glimpse of blue skies in a week as the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) fell to 73 on Saturday.

People were out and about lapping up the brief respite in the afternoon from the haze but the bad news is: It's only temporary.

Winds had pushed the thick plume of haze over Singapore northwards and eastwards, so that the island state lay under a small gap in the enveloping smoke.

As the skies cleared around 4pm, people emerged to play sports or visit outdoor attractions.

Tourist Ashok Saxena, 49, from New Delhi, was at the end of his holiday here and had been frustrated by the haze till on Saturday, when he finally managed to visit Gardens By The Bay. "We're trying to make the most of the remaining time here and it's good that the skies are clearing up," he said.

But as fires in Sumatra continue to burn, the weather remains dry, and the wind blows haze over from the west and south-west, the air quality here is likely to remain bleak in the days ahead.

The 24-hour PSI, a measure of air quality, was expected to be in the "Very Unhealthy" range of 201 to 300, at least until 6pm on Sunday.

That means children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with heart or lung disease should avoid all outdoor activity.

The elderly and ill should wear N95 masks if they cannot avoid outdoor activity.

Those who are healthy should avoid prolonged and strenuous outdoor activity.

Additional reporting by Walter Sim

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