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    Sep 29, 2015

    Air quality could hit very unhealthy levels today

    HAZY skies returned yesterday as schools across Singapore reopened amid unhealthy air quality. But the situation could worsen today.

    In an update close to 7.30pm yesterday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said that the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) for the next 24 hours is expected to be in the mid to high sections of the very unhealthy range (201 to 300).

    However, some improvement is expected in the morning.

    Yesterday, the 24-hour PSI stood mostly in the unhealthy range (101 to 200), better than the forecast for today. At 9pm last night, it was between 139 and 195. The three-hour PSI, which is not tied to a health advisory, was 154.

    The hazy conditions yesterday ended the respite over the weekend, in which the 24-hour PSI fell to moderate levels (51 to 100) and inched into the unhealthy band late on Sunday.

    In a press released issued on Sunday evening, the Ministry of Education (MOE) assured parents that schools have put in place a set of haze management plans, and are equipped with air purifiers and sufficient enclosed spaces for all students.

    Measures taken include minimising outdoor activities and making sure students who are unwell or have pre-existing lung or heart conditions are exempt from all physical exercise.

    MOE took the unprecedented step last Friday of closing all primary and secondary schools, as well as MOE-run kindergartens and special education schools, as the air quality hit hazardous levels (above 300).