The ACT Government hopes to receive a large stock of P2 face masks from the Commonwealth Government tomorrow.
As predicted, smoke from bushfires burning in NSW has again returned to the ACT. It may still be a number of days before air quality improves in the Territory.
We understand that many Canberrans are anxious about their health due to exposure to smoke. Symptoms can include itchy eyes, a burning sensation in the throat, a runny nose and coughing or shortness of breath.
The advice from ACT Health continues to be that the best way to minimise symptoms from bushfire smoke is to stay indoors and reduce physical activity.
We know many Canberrans are still seeking P2 face masks to help minimise the symptoms of smoke exposure. These face masks can help reduce the symptoms of smoke inhalation in the short term, particularly for people that have to be outside.
The stock of P2 masks from the Commonwealth will be made available for vulnerable people in our community – such as those who are particularly sensitive to smoky conditions and those who are unable to avoid prolonged outdoor exposure.
We are working with peak bodies and various organisations to establish the best way to provide these masks for vulnerable Canberrans, with appropriate health advice on how to safely use the masks.
The Government has been contacting major retailers in the city on the availability of face masks for Canberrans who want them.
The advice from some retailers is that new stock will be available through chemists and hardware stores in the coming days.
The Government has supplied face masks to the Early Morning Centre for individuals sleeping rough. Face masks have also been offered through Housing ACT to tenants that need them.
We will continue to monitor conditions over the coming days in consultation with experts from ACT Health.