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Lahore smog: Schools to remain closed three days a week

Private offices to remain shut Friday, Saturday and Sunday

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 22, 2021 | Last Updated: 6 days ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 22, 2021 | Last Updated: 6 days ago

Smog engulfed Punjab—Photo: SAMAA

All educational institutes in Lahore will remain closed three-days-a-week to contain the impact of smog and ensure public safety. 

According to a notification issued by the Punjab Relief Commissioner, in addition to Saturday and Sunday, schools and other educational institutes will also remain closed on Monday. 

The schools will only open from Tuesday to Friday, till January 15. However, the educational institutes can organize virtual classes on off days. 

The notification further adds that all private offices shall remain closed on every Monday, in addition to Saturday and Sunday.  

Provincial Disaster Management Authority spokesperson has said that the government will ensure the implementation of this notification. 

Smog situation in Punjab 

The air quality index (AQI) of Lahore was recorded above 500 throughout last week. At one point, the provincial capital was declared the most polluted city in the world as well. 

The crisis seems to be tightening its vice around Lahore as the weather changes. Other cities most affected by air pollution include Sahiwal, Faisalabad, and Raiwind. 

Due to the smog, visibility levels throughout cities were reduced, causing problems for commuters and leading to serious health issues such as flu, cough, throat infection, breathing problems, and chest pain. 

According to doctors, more than 120 smog infections are being reported in the province on a daily basis. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) says the foggy and smoggy conditions will stay today across Punjab.  

Earlier, the Punjab government issued a notification to reduce 50% of staff at private offices and said that half of the private-sector employees will work from home. 

The Lahore Commissioner has banned the use of Euro II petrol and diesel in Lahore for one month and instructed people to use Euro V to eradicate smog problems. 

The Lahore High Court also heard a case on smog. The court formed a committee comprising Commissioner Lahore, DG, PDMA and sought a report. The court also ordered to impose a fine of Rs2,000 and other punitive actions against people who violate the one-way traffic law in Lahore. 

The court also ordered private businesses in Lahore and surrounding cities to immediately halve their staff’s presence at offices to help reduce the noxious smog that is causing serious health problems in the populace. 

Precautionary measures for smog 

According to pulmonologists, some precautionary measures can be taken by people, especially those who spend a majority of their time outdoors. 

  • Wear sunglasses to prevent itchy eyes 

  • Wash as soon as you reach home 

  • Drink lots of water 

  • Keep a check on the AQI index and avoid areas where the air quality is poor 

  • Avoid exercising in smoggy conditions 

  • Avoid taking routes that are built up or congested 

  • If you have asthma, carry an inhaler

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