Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reported that the Government would seek to strengthen measures to combat the growing problem of air pollution that affects the capital, and that it may even issue more important orders that will limit the use of vehicles.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha warned that if smog in Bangkok is not addressed effectively, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will be forced to issue a decree that will ban people from driving alone, use diesel cars and will even implement road space rationing to reduce the volume of PM2.5 particles (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers) in the air.

Prayut warned that local authorities and related agencies should be punished if they do not control the pollution and improve the situation. As the air quality in Bangkok and nearby provinces continues to deteriorate, and the level of very fine and harmful particulate matter (PM2.5) is estimated to remain above safety standards until this weekend, the authorities began to impose stricter measures.

Air pollution

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) designated the city as a pollution control zone and asked the capital's schools and universities to remain closed for two days. The prime minister also expressed frustration at the ineffective efforts to tackle the air pollution problem in Bangkok, and called on all stakeholders to be more dedicated to pollution control efforts.

different vehicles on road

Particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less (PM10), including fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5), can penetrate deep into the lung ducts and enter the bloodstream, causing severe cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory impacts. Prayut urged people to become more publicly aware, follow the rules, and change their polluting habits, such as using vehicles that emit black fumes from their tailpipes.

Many Bangkok residents wear face masks to protect their airways from pollution. Meanwhile, Prayut has directed the Internal Security Operations Command in each province to deploy military officers to inspect factory operations in their areas and make sure they were meeting pollutant emission standards.