Punjab’s interim Chief Minister has declared a one-day holiday for all government and private schools across Punjab, including Lahore, on September 28, 2023. This decision comes in response to a significant surge in pink eye cases, a highly contagious eye disease known for causing red, itchy, and watery eyes.
The closure applies to all students up to grade 10. From the following Monday, school authorities will conduct symptom checks at school entrances. Students exhibiting signs of the infection will be advised to seek immediate medical attention and will not be allowed to enter the school premises until they are free of symptoms.
During the break, schools will undergo deep cleaning procedures to further minimize the risk of transmission. The disease is particularly prone to spreading in crowded places like schools, hence the need for such stringent measures.
In addition to these steps, the public is being urged to take precautions to prevent the spread of pink eye. These include wearing glasses instead of contact lenses to reduce irritation and the chance of infection, avoiding close contact with infected individuals, and regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, remote controls, and phone screens.
Other recommended preventive measures include maintaining good hand hygiene, refraining from touching or rubbing the eyes, especially with unclean hands, and not sharing personal items like towels, washcloths, pillows, or makeup. It is also advised to change pillowcases and towels regularly, washing them in hot water and detergent to kill any germs.
Those who suspect they have pink eye are encouraged to see a doctor and follow their treatment recommendations, including completing any prescribed medication. If an individual has an eye infection, they should always dispose of used tissues after wiping their eyes and wash their hands immediately.
The public is also urged to stay informed about any pink eye outbreaks in their community or school and take extra precautions. If one has had an eye infection, it is advisable to replace old eye makeup to avoid re-infection.
This outbreak underscores the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices and taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.