Dust consists of particles that irritate the lungs and cause allergies and exacerbate asthma and hence the warning.
All citizens and residents, especially elderly and those with asthma or respiratory diseases should avoid direct exposure to dust and stay at home unless it is necessary to go out.
Those who have recently had eye or nose surgery ought to avoid exposure to dust. Ensure all doors and windows are closed properly to prevent dust from entering the building. If needed, use damp towels to seal off any openings in windows and underneath the doors.
Avoid open areas during the peak of the sandstorm and low visibility. Wash face, nose and mouth frequently to prevent dust from entering lungs. Wear a protective mask or use a dampened piece of towel to cover mouth and nose. Frequently change the mask or towel.
Avoid rubbing eyes to prevent eye infections and wear protective eye glasses when going out.
Drivers must ensure all windows are closed while driving in dusty weather and only run the air conditioning system when needed. Individuals working in open areas should work in shifts to minimise the exposure to dust. Remember to wear the protective mask and glasses.
Individuals vulnerable to severe allergies should start their prescribed antihistamine during sandstorms even before any symptom occurs. After the sandstorm, clean all dust from the house, especially bedrooms and bed sheets.
MoPH has also urged residents to report to the nearest health centre if case of watery eyes, cough, asthma or wheezing and to the Emergency Department if there is difficulty in breathing.