"I think the situation is very worrying," Rizky, 35, told Reuters TV by the side of a road in downtown Jakarta.
"So many children are sick with the same complaints and symptoms such as coughs and cold," he said.
Jakarta residents have long complained of toxic air from chronic traffic, industrial smoke and coal-fired power plants. Some of them launched and won a civil lawsuit in 2021 demanding the government take action to control air pollution.
The court at the time ruled President Joko Widodo must establish national air quality standards to protect human health, and the health minister and Jakarta governor must devise strategies to control air pollution.
Still, Nathan Roestandy, co-founder of air quality app Nafas Indonesia, said the pollution level has continued to deteriorate.
"We take more than 20,000 breaths a day. If we take in polluted air everyday, (it could lead to) respiratory and pulmonary diseases, even asthma. It can affect cognitive development of children or even mental health," he said.
Asked about Jakarta's pollution problem on Tuesday, President Widodo told reporters the solution would be to move the country's capital city from Jakarta to Nusantara, which his government is currently building from the ground up on Borneo island.
It's evident that the poor air quality leads to us having allergies and developing asthma. Children have higher risks due to weaker immune systems.
NEA has mentioned that the haze will be coming to Singapore and it's crucial that we get N95 masks and air purifiers to prepare ahead.
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