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Beijing: Air pollution worsens, authorities advise people to stay indoors


Steve Jiang, CNN
Jan 15, 2013 at 11:19am IST

Beijing: China seems to be losing its battle with air pollution as experts warn against the high level of toxins in the air in its capital city, Beijing. Gauging the threat, schools have been advised to keep children indoors and a smog alert has been sounded.

Air pollution remained worse on Monday with a thick layer of smog continuing to blanket the city. However, situation improved slightly over the weekend and the pollution levels are no longer off the charts but remain hazardous.

Parents in Beijing seeking medical help for children who are one of the most vulnerable to severe air pollution. "Of course we are worried. The air is so dirty. He is unwilling to stay outside and keeps asking can we go back home?," said a parent of a boy.

Across the city, people are not only rushing to hospitals but also to stores to buy face masks to protect themselves from the toxic air. The authorities in Beijing have also issued a very rare smog alert and has instructed schools to keep their students indoors while warning the rest of the population to minimise outdoor activities.

State media has been providing extensive coverage on the alarming level of pollution in the air since Saturday with many reports citing officials blaming two main reasons for the worsening problem - coal burning and car exhaust. People of the city have expressed their concerns and frustrations and even anger on the situation but there is also a sense of resignation amongst them. Some citizens are also joking that living in Beijing is like getting caught in a biological warfare on a daily basis.

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