Smog Daze: Thai gov’t orders closure of schools, universities through Friday as air pollution gets worse

Photo: Facebook/ FM91 Traffic Pro
Photo: Facebook/ FM91 Traffic Pro

The Thai government today ordered schools and universities in Bangkok and surrounding provinces closed through Friday due to worsening smog conditions.

The order came directly from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and was made over concerns about the students’ health, government spokesman Puttipong Punnakan said this morning.

The order applies to about 437 public schools and 56 private schools and numerous universities, reported BBC Thailand.

Public school students were already sent home today at noon.

Several institutions in the neighboring provinces of Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon have also been ordered to close.

Weekend classes and examinations may resume depending on weather conditions, officials added.

Separately, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang said today that the government has coordinated with the Nakhon Ratchasima Drones Club to prepare 50 drones, capable of carrying 10 liters of water each, that will spray molasses-infused water over Thailand’s capital tomorrow, reported Khaosod.

The official explained that the thickness of molasses can help catch dust in the air, causing it to fall to the ground as black drops of water.

What a lovely sight to look forward to.

This attempt to, um … sugar coat the problem, actually began a test run a couple of days ago and has already drawn criticism from chemists.  

Yesterday, Kasetsart University organic chemistry professor Dr. Weerachai Putthawong said government officials are putting the streets at risk of developing mold by dousing them with the sugar water solution.

So be prepared, Bangkok. Things might get a little sticky.

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