It is getting difficult for the residents of Bahawalpur to breathe as air pollution has engulfed the city because of a change in weather.
There has been an increase in respiratory diseases and asthma cases reported in the city.
According to the air pollution and city rankings by AirVisual, the air quality index (AQI) values in Bahawalpur were around 180 on Tuesday.
Amir Bukhari, spokesperson of Victoria Hospital, Bahawalpur, said that vehicles, factories and brick kilns cause the most air pollution.
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He said that the hospital emergency department receives between 2,500 to 3,000 patients every day and 10 to 12% of these patients are affected by air pollution. “They complain of asthma, respiratory issues, allergic rashes and other skin diseases,” he said.
There are an estimated 25 to 30 brick kilns in the city. The Punjab government decided to impose a ban on them because of the air pollution crisis. An inspection was done in Bahawalpur on Wednesday to find out which brick kilns are still functional.
Ansar Abbas, an inspector in the environment control department, said that an FIR has been registered against four brick kiln owners and the kilns have been shut down.
Health experts are advising people to wear masks or cover their mouths and noses with handkerchiefs before heading out.