Singapore

PSI reading to improve today: NEA

Air quality expected to recover from 'unhealthy' to 'moderate' range

Singaporeans may breathe better when they wake up today, with improvements to the air quality expected.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday evening that the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading was expected to gradually improve over the following 24 hours to the high end of the "moderate" range - if prevailing wind conditions continued.

Many Singaporeans ventured outdoors yesterday afternoon, when there was a slight respite from the hazy conditions that shrouded the island for much of the weekend.

The PSI eased to 104-114 at the lower end of the "unhealthy" range at 3pm, from up to 124 in the morning. By midnight, it had further dropped to 82-96.

When The Straits Times visited Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park at about 3.30pm, there were joggers and dog-walkers going around as usual.

PARROT

About 25 parrot owners had also gathered for a meet-up. Undergraduate Ng Hui Min, 24, attended the event with her sister and her yellow-naped Amazon parrot.

"The event went ahead because everything was already prepared, and the haze situation feels better today," said Ms Ng.

Mr Tan Seng Kok, 63, a retired mover, goes to the park every three days for some fresh air - and it was no different yesterday.

"The haze is not that bad, but even if it worsens I would still come to enjoy the breeze and the flowers," Mr Tan said in Mandarin, as he rested in his wheelchair in a shady spot.

Two annual running events - the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run and POSB PAssion Kids Run - took place as scheduled in the morning.

A spokesman for the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run told The Straits Times that the organisers adopted measures in accordance with guidelines from the NEA. The event included a 10km competitive run,

Organisers of the POSB PAssion Run for Kids announced its decision to go ahead with its event as the PM2.5 readings at 4am (34-54) were in the normal range.

Yesterday's SPL match between Hougang United and Geylang International also kicked off as scheduled at 5.30pm at Our Tampines Hub, despite the PSI reading at 5pm registering 100-108.

According to Football Association of Singapore guidelines, SPL games will be delayed, suspended, or postponed - depending on officials on the ground - only after the 24-hour PSI readings hit 200.

The threshold for amateur matches, like National Football League games, is 100.

The PSI crossed the "unhealthy" level on Saturday for the first time since 2016 when western Singapore's reading was 103 at 4pm.

A PSI reading of 101-200 is in the unhealthy range, for which the NEA advises the public to cut down on outdoor activities.

A PSI reading of zero to 50 indicates that the air quality is good; 51-100 is considered "moderate".

The air quality is considered to be "very unhealthy" when the PSI ranges from 201 to 300, and it is "hazardous" when it goes above 300.

Schools will reopen today. Classrooms will be equipped with air purifiers and teachers will look out for students who are unwell or have pre-existing lung or heart conditions, said the Ministry of Education.

Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) training will "proceed as much as possible, to ensure (soldiers) are well-trained and ready for any eventuality", said the Ministry of Defence.

A spokesman added that SAF units will adjust their outdoor and training activities accordingly if the 24-hour PSI readings go above 100.

He said: "Regardless of the haze conditions, the SAF stands ready to safeguard Singapore's peace and security."