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Bangkok Urges Work from Home Amidst City-Wide Pollution Blanket

Due to hazardous air pollution enveloping Bangkok, city officials have instructed employees to work remotely until the situation improves. The noxious haze, prevalent in the Thai capital and affecting its 11 million residents, prompted authorities to urge employers' cooperation in facilitating work-from-home arrangements. IQAir, an air monitoring website, listed Bangkok among the ten most polluted cities globally, with levels of PM2.5 particles surpassing the World Health Organization's safety guidelines by over 15 times.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt announced that all municipal employees would telecommute on Thursday and Friday to mitigate exposure to the harmful air quality. He called for support from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's network of approximately 151 companies and organizations, encompassing both public and private sectors. This decision impacts over 60,000 individuals. Chadchart noted that at least 20 of Bangkok's 50 districts were expected to experience unhealthy levels of PM2.5 particles, exacerbated by calm weather conditions prolonging the issue.

Thailand's air quality typically deteriorates in the early months due to a combination of factors, including agricultural burning, industrial emissions, and vehicular exhaust. Bangkok and Chiang Mai frequently feature among the world's most polluted cities. The country faces a burgeoning public health crisis attributed to pollution, with approximately two million individuals requiring medical attention in 2023 alone.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's administration, which assumed office in August, has pledged to prioritize addressing air pollution as a national concern. Recently, the cabinet endorsed a draft Clean Air Act. However, despite these efforts, the pollution problem persists. In response to a court order in Chiang Mai, the government has been mandated to devise an urgent plan to combat air pollution within a 90-day timeframe.

Source: Vnexpress - Bangkok says work from home as pollution blankets city