China issued a blue-coded alert yesterday as foggy weather forecast for the coming two days will cut visibility and worsen air pollution in some central and eastern Chinese cities.
The alert represents the least serious level, after red, orange and yellow in China's four-tier, color-coded weather warning system.
The National Meteorological Center warned of a decline in air quality and advised residents in these regions to stay indoors or take precautions.
Meanwhile, a strong cold front is expected to cause snowfall and temperature drops in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, with some parts experiencing blizzards and temperatures plunging by over 10 degrees Celsius.
Beijing was blanketed in smog again yesterday. At 10am, air quality indices from most monitoring stations in the city exceeded 200, or Level V, a serious level.
The capital has seen a sharp increase in patients, especially children, with respiratory symptoms, said Wei Tianni, vice president of the No.6 Hospital of Beijing. More than 60 percent of new patients in the respiratory department have cough as a symptom, which is linked to haze and foggy weather, Wei added.
To cut auto emissions, the environmental protection bureau said the city will adopt a new standard for vehicle emissions starting February 1.