Beijing closed outdoor activities on Friday due to heavy coal smog this week.
Highways and school playgrounds were closed, and stretches of highways to major cities were also closed due to poor visibility.
A monitoring station at the US embassy in Beijing detected pollutants that were “very unhealthy” for the general population.
Levels of small particulate matter, or PM 2.5, which penetrate deep into human lungs and cause respiratory illnesses hovered around 220 — far above the WHO recommended limit of 15, Japan Today reported.
According to city officials, the smog would persist until at least Saturday evening.
China said earlier this week its daily coal production had increased by more than one million tons to ease an energy shortage that forced factories to close in recent months.
Previously, Beijing has pledged to bring emissions of planet-heating carbon dioxide to a peak by 2030 and reduce them to net-zero by 2060.
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