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Pregnant women, employees over the age of 60 and people with asthma remain at home till Tuesday

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The Government measures for releasing pregnant women and elderly people over 60 years of age from working obligations due to the heavy air pollution in the regions of Skopje, Kicevo, Tetovo and Bitola are to resume until Tuesday. These measures will also refer to people with asthma, the Government decided Saturday at its open, regular session. Forecasters expect neither favorable weather conditions nor drastic change of the air quality by Tuesday, Environment Minister Abdulaqim Ademi told reporters.

We have prepared booklets that are being distributed in Skopje, Tetovo, Bitola and Kicevo to inform citizens about the harmful effects of using bad quality wood and oil for heating,” Ademi said. The Government also recommends to these municipalities to avoid organizing outdoor sporting events and other cultural manifestations by Tuesday. The Ministry of Economy has been entrusted with a task to review a possibility for supporting energy efficiency program for citizens, namely for replacing the old with new stoves, the Minister said. Furthermore, the City of Skopje is to review a possibility to subside cleaning of chimneys. The Government will re-address the air pollution on Tuesday, Ademi said.

For the past several days, airborne particle concentrations in these cities have exceeded the highest permissible levels during freezing winter weather. Last Tuesday the Environment Ministry instructed private companies and state institutions in the four cities to let pregnant women and employees over the age of 60 remain at home.