The air pollution is getting worse in Beijing, leading the bustling city to upgrade its air pollution alert from orange to red.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, this marks the first time Beijing has issued a red alert on the capital since 2013, telling everyone that the air situation is gravely serious. Because of the said alert level, emergency management headquarters at Beijing say that schools (kindergartens, primary and high schools) will be advised to suspend classes. Moreover, constructions sites with operations taking place outdoors will also be banned from resuming. In addition, some industrial plants will also be asked to limit operations or shut down entirely. Aside from these, an odd or even number scheme will be used to limit cars on the road, including 30 percent of government vehicles.
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution poses major health risks to everyone as it is linked to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and various chronic and acute respiratory diseases such as asthma. In fact, outdoor air pollution was said to have been responsible for 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide back in 2012.
The Beijing Municipal Environment Monitoring Center believes that heavy air pollution will continue to cover the capital until Thursday. This is why Beijing has been put on red alert from 7:00 a.m. Tuesday to 12:00 p.m. Thursday. According to a report from the BBC, the international organization Greenpeace has been urging the Chinese government to issue a red alert since last week.