- Educational institutions to stay closed on Saturdays until the end of January
To curb smog in the province, the Lahore High Court directed on Monday all educational institutions in Punjab to stay closed on Saturdays until the end of January.
Justice Shahid Kareem ordered the deputy commissioner to issue a notification for the closure. This comes after a verdict on November 13, which ordered all schools and colleges in Punjab to remain closed on November 18.
Justice Kareem also said the government will declare two days in the week as ‘work from home’ for the private sector in the province.
On Sunday, Punjab’s government mandated that citizens in 10 smog-hit districts wear face masks whenever they leave home.
According to Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, the decision was taken because of deteriorating air quality in the province.
“High level of air quality due to smog poses a serious and imminent threat to public health in all age groups. Hence, it is mandatory to take all possible safety measures for prevention and control of airborne diseases in the province of Punjab,” the notification added.
Eastern Punjab has lately been plagued with a smog crisis. As per IQ Air, Lahore’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was roughly 170 on November 20, a level that is considered ‘unhealthy’.
The main pollutant was PM2.5, a fine particulate matter that can enter the lungs and bloodstream, resulting in serious health issues.
The AQI measures how clean or polluted the air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for people.