KOTA BARU: There is only so much the Government can do in combating the haze, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said Malaysia was dependent on Indonesia to stop the problem.
“But the hotspots are in wide areas and it is dependent on the wind direction,” he told reporters here during his half-day working visit to the state yesterday.
Najib said he hoped that the wind direction would change so that the situation would improve.
“We are ready to do cloud-seeding if advised by the Meteorological Services Department,” he said.
Meanwhile, outpatient and emergency units of all hospitals nationwide have been put on alert for a possible influx of patients seeking treatment for asthma and respiratory illnesses should the haze persist.
It is learnt that the Health Ministry made the preparations yesterday as smoke from Indonesian forest fires blanketed the country, causing the Air Pollutant Index to rise in many parts to unhealthy levels.
“All hospitals had been instructed to be on the alert for any haze-related cases,” said a ministry official.
In the past, haze had caused illnesses like upper respiratory tract infections, asthma and conjunctivitis.
Health Ministry director of disease control Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat said that anyone who had breathing difficulties or sore eyes should immediately seek treatment at government clinics and hospitals.
He added that the ministry would also monitor the number of people seeking treatment for haze-related illnesses.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the Civil Aviation and Environment departments were closely monitoring the situation and appropriate action would be taken, including closing airports, should the situation worsen.