KOTA KINABALU: Parents fetched their children from school early while many rushed to pharmacies for face masks as the west coast of Sabah was enveloped by smoke from forest fires.
Although the Air Pollutant Index (API) stayed at a moderate 68 in the city, many found the thick haze and smell of smoke worrying, especially for the health of their children.
Some schools gave out face masks to their pupils while Parent-Teacher Associations in many other schools started raising money for masks.
The winds were shifting the haze to many parts of the west coast from the worst-hit southwestern Beaufort area.
Department of Environment (Sabah) assistant director Norazizi Adinan said the area recorded a very unhealthy API of 300 on Sunday but this dropped to 150 as of noon yesterday and was continuing to improve.
Sabah Education Department deputy director Maimunah Suhaidul told reporters yesterday that 83 primary and secondary schools, with more than 20,000 students in Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Papar, would stay closed till today.
She said principals in other areas had been given permission to close their schools should the haze worsen, but they must inform the department.
Did you find this article insightful?