11 September 2019
Hospitals in Riau province, Indonesia, announced on Tuesday an increase in patients suffering from respiratory problems, due to poor air quality caused by slash-and-burn farming practices. Kindergartens and high schools reduced outdoor activities and sent students home early. The local Riau Governor is expected to announce the closure of schools until further notice across the region on Wednesday. Authorities in Malaysia have said that smoke has been drifting over from blazes in neighbouring Indonesia. Forest fires have raged through parts of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the province of Kalimantan on Borneo in recent weeks. Malaysia has sent half a million face masks to the eastern state of Sarawak and closed more than 400 schools there.
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