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Indonesia Takes Measures to Tackle Air Pollution Ahead of ASEAN Summit

In preparation for the upcoming 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Jakarta, Indonesia is intensifying efforts to combat air pollution. Jakarta, already one of the world’s most polluted areas, has been grappling with severe air pollution that has contributed to rising health concerns among the population. The Health Ministry has reported a surge in cases of acute respiratory infections since the beginning of the year, largely attributed to air pollution.

Agus Dwi Susanto, the head of the Ministry’s respiratory disease control, noted that while the average monthly cases in 2022 were under 100,000, this year, the number has surpassed 100,000, with August recording around 200,000 cases. The ministry advises individuals engaging in outdoor activities exceeding eight hours to wear anti-pollution masks. Additionally, the Environment and Forestry Ministry has initiated legal action against entities responsible for contributing to air pollution.

The Jakarta administration and city police have deployed fire trucks to spray water on major roads, aiming to alleviate dust and pollutant levels. To further reduce pollution during the summit, the city administration encourages work-at-home arrangements for government institutions and private businesses. In a related development, Indonesia has also introduced an autonomous light rail transit train in Jakarta to address traffic congestion and pollution in the densely populated capital.