KUCHING: Schools in haze-hit areas in Sarawak with air pollutant index (API) levels exceeding 200 have been directed to close immediately.
The state Education Department said the principals and headmasters of the affected schools should inform their respective district education offices of the closure.
"The schools can be reopened when the API goes below 200," it said in a statement on Monday (Sept 9).
The department said this was part of the measures contained in an Education Ministry circular dated Jan 15, 2019, on the health and safety of students in areas deemed to be critically affected by haze.
Citing the circular, it also said public examinations should proceed as scheduled.
However, it added that the examinations board will postpone the exams to a later date if the API exceeds 300.
The department advised students to wear nasal masks and drink water frequently during hazy conditions.
It also said parents who were concerned about their children's health were permitted not to send them to school and to inform their respective schools.
At 5pm on Monday, there were two areas in Sarawak with API levels exceeding 200 - Sri Aman (248) and Kuching (245).
In Samarahan and Sarikei, which registered API readings above 200 earlier in the day, the levels dropped to 195 and 149 respectively.
The API issued by the Department of Environment comprises the following categories: Good (0-50), moderate (51-100), unhealthy (101-200), very unhealthy (201-300) and hazardous (301 onwards).
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