Better air quality since first phase of MCO, says Tuan Ibrahim

Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the enforcement of the first phase of MCO on March 18 until yesterday has not only helped to break the chain of Covid-19, it has in fact reduce environmental pollution as well. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the enforcement of the first phase of MCO on March 18 until yesterday has not only helped to break the chain of Covid-19, it has in fact reduce environmental pollution as well. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, March 31 — The enforcement of the first phase of movement control order (MCO) on March 18 until yesterday has not only helped to break the chain of Covid-19, it has in fact reduce environmental pollution as well, said Environment Minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. 

This followed a reduction of activities such as vehicle exhaust emission, industrial stack emission and open burning,” he said. 

He said a detailed analysis by the Department of Environment (DOE) on several main parameters namely nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and fine particles of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) found their levels have fallen significantly.

Tuan Ibrahim said the monitoring was conducted at the air quality monitoring stations in Batu Muda and Cheras in Kuala Lumpur as well as Putrajaya.   

“All three areas recorded marked drop of between 55 to 68 per cent for NO2; 17 to 34 per cent for SO2; six to 15 per cent for CO; and six to 14 per cent for PM2.5,” he said in a statement here today.

Tuan Ibrahim said apart from that, DOE also expanded the analysis to air quality monitoring stations at several major cities such as Shah Alam, Ipoh, Penang, Kuantan, Seremban, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu for the same period.

“The findings also showed significant fall in each parameter with NO2 reduced between 11 to 62 per cent, SO2 between five to 22 per cent, CO between two to 25 per cent and PM2.5 between two to 23 per cent,” he said.

The latest hourly Air Pollutant Index (API) is available on DOE website at http://apims.doe.gov.my/v2/ or by downloading the official smart phone application, MyIPU via Android Google Play and at Apple App Store.

Tuan Ibrahim also advised the people not to carry out opening burning to reduce the risk of fires in the hot and dry weather now.

Members of the public can report cases of open burning to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 or DOE’s toll free line at 1-800-88-2727. — Bernama

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