Malaysians and tourists put on masks in Malacca

MALACCA - Many locals and tourists were seen wearing face masks as the historic city was shrouded in haze.

Low visibility also slowed down traffic to the major tourist areas in the city.

However, activities that were planned earlier, such as the dragon boat race, held in conjunction with the annual Malacca River Festival, went on as scheduled yesterday.

Malacca Health and Sports Development executive chairman Datuk Ab Rahaman Ab Karim said the state government would consider cancelling outdoor, sports and co-curriculum activities in schools if the situation worsened.

"Classes will continue as of now but we will stop all outdoor activities in schools if the need arises.

"In the meantime, we are monitoring the Air Pollution Index readings closely," he said.

Ab Rahaman said the state Health Department would also consider distributing free face masks to all students and civil servants.

In Muar, the clear weather in the morning turned hazy suddenly by mid-afternoon.

Visibility dropped to less than half a nautical mile in most parts of the coastal areas.

The Muar river estuary, the Muar Bridge and most of the areas in town as well as Tanjung Agas were covered by thick haze by 4pm.

Muar marine police chief Asst Supt Nordin Osman said as visibility in the sea was poor, all vessels plying the Malacca Straits should take precautions and navigate with utmost care.

"Fishermen in small boats should refrain from going out to the sea for now and fishing trawlers must switch on their lights," he added.

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