In a strategic move to combat the adverse effects of smog on public health, the Punjab government has mandated the use of face masks for a week. This directive specifically targets districts heavily affected by smog, including Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Narowal, Hafizabad, Sialkot, and Mandi Bahauddin.
The notification, shared by the caretaker Chief Minister Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, states that residents of the mentioned districts must wear face masks when outdoors starting from November 20 till November 26.
Public Health Priority: A Statement from the Chief Minister
Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, in his statement on X (formerly Twitter), emphasized that prioritizing health is a collective responsibility. He urged the public to strictly adhere to the guidelines, contributing to the creation of a safer community.
Government Response to Deteriorating Air Quality
In response to the escalating air quality concerns, the Punjab Government has taken several measures, including the recent decision to temporarily close educational institutes in smog-affected districts. Additionally, a crackdown on smoke-emitting vehicles has been initiated as part of the broader strategy to combat smog.
Persistent Air Quality Challenges
Despite these proactive steps, there has been no significant improvement in air quality. On Sunday, Lahore’s air quality once again registered at an unhealthy level of 203.
Expert Recommendations and Preventive Measures
Experts recommend the usage of face masks and air purifiers as essential preventive measures against the suffocating impact of smog.