Nearly 900 Bangkok residents have sought medical care in the past six months due to worsening air pollution.
Since October, 883 people have visited City Hall-run clinics, aka “pollution clinics, mostly with respiratory problems, while some sought help for rashes, trouble breathing, irritated eyes, and asthma.
As the smog reached unhealthy levels for the past week, 148 of that number (16.7%) visited the clinics between March 1 and Sunday, according to Aekwaranyoo Amrapal, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration spokesman.
Since the number given was recorded from six BMA-operated clinics alone, it is believed that many more people sought medical treatment from other clinics and hospitals in Bangkok.
As of March 2023, City Hall had opened six hospital pollution clinics to care for people suffering from respiratory diseases. They are located at the Klang, Taksin, Charoenkrung Pracharak, Ratchaphiphat, Sirindhorn, and Luang Pho Taweesak hospitals.
Inhaling air pollutants can irritate airways and cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, asthmatic episodes, and chest pain.
The persistent threat of pollution, which has become a major health concern for the past five years, is a major test facing Bangkok Gov. Chadchart Sittipunt, who was elected in a landslide last year in hopes of solving some of the city’s intractable problems.
Photos: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration