As night-time temperatures are set to fall to -35 C in the next days, consumption of processed fuel has increased by 41 percent in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar in December compared with the same month last year.
This is because the majority of Ulaanbaatar residents have stayed indoors due to the COVID-19 lockdown and burned a lot more processed fuel to keep warm, explained officials in a statement.
In 2019, to curb air pollution, Mongolia replaced low-grade coal with processed fuel only in Ulaanbaatar, which is home to over half of the country’s population of 3.3 million. Earlier this month, the government decided to cut prices of the fuel by 70 percent until July, 2021.
Around 220,000 households live in ger (yurt, or round-shaped dwelling) districts, with no running water, central heating or sewerage systems.
The Mongolian government reimposed lockdown measures in Ulan Bator starting Wednesday to 6 January to curb resurging local COVID-19 cases.