Macedonia takes emergency steps to curb pollution

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-16 04:23:52|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

SKOPJE, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Macedonian ministry of environment announced late Friday emergency measures that it had imposed in order to curb air pollution.

"The emergency measures enter into force starting today following a government decree on reduction of pollutant-level exceedances," government spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski said Friday.

According to Bosnjakovski, the government was also planning to launch a tender for equipment for personal protection against air pollution such as filtering face masks, air purifiers for schools, health centers and kindergartens.

Such measures followed a discussion on an initiative launched earlier by Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to intervene and lower pollution levels here.

According to Macedonia's environment ministry, the emergency measures include days off for pregnant women, people over 60 years of age, people suffering from chronic asthma, people who have had a stroke, etc.

Meanwhile, government has also recommended that working hours should be reorganized for workers working outdoors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a ban on sporting events and games outdoors.

The municipalities are urged to cut public transportation fees during unfavorable climate conditions so as to motivate the citizens to use public transport more and to allow free-of-charge public transportation.

Also, the municipalities are obliged to clean streets and areas for pedestrians on daily basis, to boost inspection controls on construction sites, etc.

On the other hand, public health authorities here said that the Friday's pollution measurements showed a level of 376 micrograms of carcinogenic particles per cubic meter.

Considering such level, Macedonia's capital Skopje was considered Friday as the most polluted city in the world.

Pollution was also coupled with fog which was so dense that hindered traffic at Skopje's airport "Alexander the Great" and reduced visibility in road traffic.

The mayor of Skopje Petre Silegov told reporters Friday that authorities were working for a new concept of public transport, in order to encourage people to use public transport and leave cars home.

But, largest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE accused the mayor of Skopje and the government of neglecting air pollution.