This July 16, 2020 general view taken from Victoria Harbour shows the skyline of Hong Kong. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)
HONG KONG – The health risks from air pollution in Hong Kong may reach “serious” levels later on Sunday, according to the Environmental Protection Department.
In a statement on Sunday morning, the EPD said it recorded higher than normal pollution levels since Saturday and it is expected that the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at some general and roadside air quality monitoring stations may reach the "serious" level later on Sunday.
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, a broad trough of low pressure will bring unsettled weather in the following few days. It is expected that air quality levels will improve by then
“Hong Kong is under the influence of a high-pollution background airstream. The weather today is mainly fine with light winds. Light wind hindered the effective dispersion of air pollutants,” the statement reads.
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“The sunshine enhanced photochemical smog activity and the rapid formation of ozone and fine particulates in the Pearl River Delta region. The high level of ozone has also promoted the formation of nitrogen dioxide,” it added.
According to the Hong Kong Observatory, a broad trough of low pressure will bring unsettled weather in the following few days. It is expected that air quality levels will improve by then.
With a health risk category in the "Very High" or "Serious" levels, children, the elderly and persons with existing heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities to a minimum or avoid such activities, according to the statement.
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The general public are advised to reduce, or reduce to a minimum, outdoor physical exertion, and to reduce time staying outdoors, especially in areas with heavy traffic, it added.