Amidst the ongoing smog wave, the Punjab government on Monday announced a four-day holiday starting from Thursday.
Caretaker Provincial Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi made this declaration during a press conference on Tuesday, as they strive to mitigate the severe pollution plaguing the region.
Alarming Air Quality Index
Recent data from IQ Air has shown alarming Air Quality Index (AQI) levels, with Lahore hitting a staggering 374, while Multan recorded a distressing AQI of 442. Pindi Bhattian and Rawalpindi also reported unhealthy AQI levels.
An AQI of 101 to 150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, 151 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy, and 301 to 500 is classified as hazardous.
The provincial government has called for a four-day respite, commencing from November 9, which coincides with Iqbal Day, a national holiday, and extending through the weekend.
The decision to declare an extended holiday was motivated by the dire need to address the ongoing smog crisis.
Appeal to Stay Indoors
Caretaker Chief Minister Naqvi urged the public to stay indoors during these four days, recognising the health issues that citizens are grappling with due to the smog.
Children, in particular, are experiencing breathing difficulties and eye infections, highlighting the urgency of these measures.
Schools and markets shut
In addition to the four-day holiday, educational institutions and markets in Punjab will remain closed on Saturday. Schools that are still operational on Saturdays will be required to shut down, and traders are encouraged to consider closing their shops on Friday as well.